America, you're toast. You're lost. It's practically all over. Don't bother to fight. You can't win.
This is the main message of (Germany's #1 weekly magazine) SPIEGEL's cover story on "China Against USA: Struggle for the World of Tomorrow".
Ray - in his posting on SPIEGEL's cover story - has quite correctly pointed towards China's many weaknesses, and the pitfalls on the way to superpower status. While SPIEGEL - with a few caveats - is almost enthusiastic about China's future, the main thrust of the cover story is the alleged economic and political decline of the U.S. in the face of an unrelenting competitor. (Of course, SPIEGEL uses numerous doom and gloom U.S. "experts" to prove its point - nothing new under the sun.)
Excerpts (translation and emphasis ours):
Products for the US market are increasingly produced in the cheap factories of the new Asian economic wonderland and jobs are increasingly being exported. … China's steep climb has left America in a collective state of shock. … The era of American dominance is heading towards its end, the century of Asia – with China as its central point – has begun. …
For most experts, it is only a question of time until the Chinese economy surpasses the American. …nearly everyday the Americans experience a feeling that was earlier unknown to them: They are being trumped. …Two unequal competitors are facing off in this struggle: There are the Chinese bursting with self-confidence … and there is the USA, economically and militarily number one by a long distance, but weary and increasingly plagued by self-doubts. …the Americans will still have to learn many surprising lessons in red capitalism. …America, the otherwise so self-confident nation, is thrown into deep self-doubts over such reports.
Fear is blowing through the offices of lobbyists and union headquarters of the capitol city and through the halls of Congress on Capitol Hill. …The US has fallen into a vicious cycle. …A downward spiral has been set in motion that leaves many experts cold. …Has America already lost the challenge from of the Far East? Are there no more options in the land of endless possibilities, is the long-term decline inevitable? … Doesn’t matter, which nations George W. Bush and Hu Jiantao visit: The man from Peking scores far more points with his ideology-free countenance.
China - you will win, hands down. Forget the miserable human rights record, the record setting executions, the profound lack of basic democratic rights, the abysmal wages, the dire living conditions for the vast majority of the people, the idiocy of central planning and the lack of a convertible currency. China has the formula for success. The U.S. is a failure - haven't we told you so before?
(Hat tip Alan Shore)
BTW, all this blowing up of China's importance and greatness reminds me of former German (conservative) chancellor Kurt-Georg Kiesinger, who in the election campaign of 1969 in desperation over his slipping chances for re-election, painted a frightening picture of China's threat to Germany's security by exclaiming: "I say only one thing: 'China, China, China'".
Well, Kiesinger lost the election. There were lots of threats to Germany's security (not least by the communists next door), but China wasn't one of them. And never became one.
As to the predicted shrinking of America's superpower status, I would confidently forecast a slightly different result, based on the dynamics of a capitalist free market economy. Anyway, the German left has a proven track record of calling the wrong horse, and I guess we can make a Euro or two by simply betting on the opposite outcome.
(Check Ray's excellent posting on "DER SPIEGEL's Struggle for Tomorrow: Where's Europe?)