China-US ties could power hu­man so­ci­ety

Global Times - Weekend - - OPINION -

While China has un­der­es­ti­mated the reck­less­ness of US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, the White House has failed to re­al­ize China’s re­silience against pres­sure. Nei­ther of the two coun­tries will back off eas­ily from their con­flict.

There has been un­prece­dented strate­gic dis­trust be­tween China and the US. Wash­ing­ton be­lieves China is de­ter­mined to over­take the US in all as­pects to even­tu­ally dom­i­nate the world, while Bei­jing thinks the US seeks to con­tain or even de­stroy China.

What will China and the US be like in 30 years, 50 years or by the end of the cen­tury? China plans to build it­self into a great mod­ern so­cial­ist coun­try by 2050 to re­al­ize the cen­tu­ry­old dream of the Chi­nese peo­ple. In the decades to come, China will likely have the world’s largest econ­omy, but its GDP per capita is un­likely to rank among the high­est in the world due to the coun­try’s large pop­u­la­tion and limited re­sources.

China can hardly catch up with the US with re­gard to tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tion and cul­tural cre­ativ­ity. The US will likely main­tain its dom­i­nance in the two key sec­tors. These fields de­mand the full play of imag­i­na­tion which is not a strong point in tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture since through­out their life Chi­nese are en­cour­aged to pri­or­i­tize na­tional in­ter­ests and col­lec­tivism. It is thus dif­fi­cult for China to be­come the in­no­va­tion cen­ter and lead global tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment and pop­u­lar cul­ture. Also China has a lot of work to do to es­tab­lish an in­clu­sive, di­verse and highly mod­ern­ized so­ci­ety that sup­ports tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity.

In gen­eral, China has been ris­ing thanks to its im­mense mar­ket cre­ated by peo­ple’s hard work, the govern­ment’s or­ga­ni­za­tional ca­pa­bil­ity and siz­able pop­u­la­tion. De­spite China’s ef­forts to im­prove its sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal ca­pa­bil­i­ties, the coun­try won’t over­take the US in tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tion and cre­ative in­dus­tries this cen­tury. More­over, China is un­likely to build a global mil­i­tary base net­work like the US has done de­spite the for­mer’s en­hanc­ing mil­i­tary might. China pur­sues a na­tional de­fense pol­icy that is purely de­fen­sive and is not de­signed for global mil­i­tary com­pe­ti­tion with the US.

In the fu­ture, China will boast an in­creas­ingly siz­able econ­omy and be­come the world’s largest mar­ket for con­sumer and high-tech goods. The US will re­main a global in­no­va­tion cen­ter, the breed­ing ground for emerg­ing in­dus­tries and the largest ex­porter of pop cul­tural prod­ucts. The two coun­tries will have dif­fer­ent strengths.

As great coun­tries, China and the US should be­come the driv­ing force for hu­man so­ci­ety rather than fight­ing with each other. Such ra­tio­nal­ity should be­come the main­stay of China-US re­la­tions dur­ing their ups and downs.

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