Editor: Henry Luce boldly declared in 1941 that the 20th Century was the American Century.
The 21st Century may well become the Chinese Century.
In military and strategic terms, China is now the dominant power in Asia. Chinese naval capabilities have grown massively and its military technologies especially its lasers, drones, cyber operations, and capabilities in outer space are fast catching up to those of the U.S.
China is profoundly shifting the world’s balance of power with its economic and military power. American companies account for 121 of the world’s largest corporations by revenue. Chinese companies account for 119.
The U.S. and China are engaged in a fierce battle over the world’s economic life force, technology. The battle is about whose economy will drive the technology of the future.
China has set explicit goals of domination, such fields as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, robotics, and autonomous vehicles. In 2013 Chinese President Xi Jinping introduced his ambitious vision called the Belt and Road Initiative. China would build a network of highways and rail lines and sea routes across thousands of miles, linking Asia to Europe and Africa. Their goal is not military conquest but global trade dominance.
Roughly 90 percent of goods traded internationally makes its way around the world by sea. Controlling the shipping lanes and ports allows China to wield great power over the global economy. Xi has said that by 2049, the communist revolution’s centennial, China will be “fully developed, rich, and powerful with a military that can take on and defeat all adversaries.” All past and present U.S. strategy to contain or transform China has failed. America should focus more on its own power and behavior and the power and behaviors of its allies and partners. Otherwise the 21st century will be the Chinese Century.
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