How the world has changed.
The once mighty western democratic models have begun to decline, beginning with Britain and now, USA in the last 20 years, very noticeable in last 10 years. Same time, China has quietly risen from 3rd world poverty, bullied and trodden down by the west, to be No. 2 superpower, overtaking Japan (then No. 2), other western economies like Britain, Germany and France. Deng Xiao Peng’s “open door policy” for China in 1978 has done wonders. The best part of his policy is ensconced in “to get rich is glorious” and “No matter if it is a white cat or a black cat; as long as it can catch mice, it is a good cat.” No race, no religion. His sole purpose was for his country to progress and gain dignity.
China has shown that an Asian country for the first time in hundreds of years, can be as good as USA. India is catching up fast too. These 2 Asian powers which have a long history of 7000 years, can and more than likely, will become the 2 most powerful economies before 2050.
For USA, like all great empires of Egypt, Roman, Greece and a few Chinese Dynasties in history, decline would be inevitable as quality of leadership weakens, population unwilling to work hard (out sourcing!) and over indulge in materialism.
The American decline has begun to manifest in many ways especially after the breakup of Soviet Union, it being the only superpower left, cocky and arrogant—
(a) its use of economic/military power to suppress nations which refused to toe the American line in Latin America and middle east, killing millions. Japan was allowed to enjoy prosperity because it has stayed as a good boy.
Same with South Korea and Taiwan.
(b) Productivity went down. American workers can’t produce goods competitively.
Hence giving China the opening to supply cheaper consumer goods by the hundreds of billions each year. Americans have enjoyed higher standard of living because of affordable Chinese consumer goods.
(c) USA has become overly dependent on selling arms to balance its trade.
(d) America’s fondness of creating wars in many parts of the world is its weakest “chink in armour”. It has spent USD6.4 trillion on war since 2011.
(e) Symptomatic of a declining superpower, USA has begun to blame other countries for doing better than it.
To prevent these countries from overtaking, Trump uses trade war and abuses in international rules and international bodies which USA has set up in the first place. Examples—-trade war, Huawei, WTO, UN etc.
(f) Most serious is America’s failure to update its infrastructure and innovation. Its railways are badly out of date. If USA is the best in high tech innovation, how could it have failed to develop5G and allowed China, Sweden and Norway to overtake it.
Even now, it cannot play catch up.
(g) Trump’s fondness of boasting and bullying manners can only hasten USA’s decline.
Typical is his handling of Covid-19, saying USA is the best country to handling this virus. Events are unfolding now that USA is suffering from a systemic failure in its health care system.
China’s ability to contain Covid-19 makes Trump looks like a school boy.
(h) Seldom talked about is abuses in Wall Street when these so-called financial wizards bundling all sorts of dubious investment products to create bubbles.
Money meant for genuine economic activities has been and is still being channelled to deceitful, unproductive investment instruments.USA is all Hollywood, best on the screen. Behind the stage, its system is collapsing.
Unfortunately, Trump has this very negative “dog in the manger” attitude. He would not tolerate other countries to be on par or overtaking USA. His negative attitude has been manifested very clearly in the manner he has conducted the trade war and Covid-19.
Some American politicians have accused China of being the “sick man of Asia”, intellectual theft, labelled Covid-19 as “China virus” or “Wuhan virus”, currency manipulator and many other uncomplimentary things. Also, they have predicted China’s economic bubble would burst and that her economy would collapse because of debt over-burden years ago. True, China is not without problem.
Against all the doom and gloom predictions, China has continued to make steady and quiet, but dramatic progress, thanks to the good quality of leadership China has ——
(a) Built world class infrastructure like high speed rail (in number of train and length), high ways over the sea and tunnels through mountains.
(b) Uplifted 800 million Chinese out of poverty.
(c) Nuclear technology.
(d) Rockets and space exploration, including ability to land satellite on the dark side of the moon. No other nation can do it yet.
(e) Improvement in environment protection including greening deserts.
(f) Upgrade of military hardware and software.
(g) Advance in quantum computing. (g) Rice planting in brackish soil. (h) Can cloth and feed 1.4 billion people which is amazing.
(h) More millionaires that USA.
(i) Discipline is much better in China than USA as can be seen in the ongoing respective Covid-19 containment exercise. (j) Most importantly, China’s quality of leadership and statesmanship are more superior.
Xi has never provoked or has been provoked by Trump’s incoherent rankling during the trade disputes or in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Xi has shown world class leadership in promotion of free trade and containment assistance for Covid-19 to many countries including USA and its. In contrast, Trump has been singing the introvert song of “America first”, “make America great again”.
Trump’s “American first” policy is a clear manifestation and confirmation of American decline.
A true and confident No. 1 superpower nation does not have to resort to shouting “American first” from the roof top. Nor does it have to keep telling the world “America is the greatest country in the world” if it is a great and worthy of respect country the world would acknowledge it by their actions and words. The no. 1 country in the world should lead by examples and actions. Quarrelling, blaming other countries for its own economic and Covid-19 failures is a sure sign it is not a No. 1 country.
That USA has lost its economic competitive edge is pretty well known. The new shocking development is the systemic failure of Trump’s leadership in tackling c.
He has plenty of time after seeing the seriousness of Covid-19 and the firm lockdown actions of China. Still he took to boasting, telling Americans Covid-19 is a small matter and that USA is a great country, the most capable country to contain Covid-19, instead of acting on it with due haste.
The No. 1 superpower has been caught “flat footed”, with insufficient test kits, PPE, ventilators for Covid-19. It is now the worst Covid-19 epic-centre in the world. Must have been humiliating for Trump having to phone Xi for PPE supply, Modi for medicine and NY having to buy masks, ventilators and PPE from China.
Trump has lost the moral dignity as the world no. 1 leader when all American closest G7 allies have refused to submit to US demand to label Covid-19 as “Wuhan virus” to humiliate China.
Not me. The Washington Post, one of the most influenceable newspapers in USA has labelled Trump the worst president in modern times.
To conclude, whether a country has a democratic or socialist system of government has little relationship to the economic/social well-being of its citizens. Some poor countries in Africa have been practicing democracy for years.
USA is supposed to be the most democratic, the leader of the free world and China is supposed to be communist/socialist. It would appear China is performing better than USA. In the final analysis, quality of leadership counts. Xi Jinping vs Trump leadership contest? Xi wins hands down.
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