Re: China 'to overtake US on science' in two years
Originally Posted by donsutherland1
I have regular contact with people in China (and not just virtual contact), have been there on numerous occasions, and will be there again on numerous occasions. I've seen some of the things that could well disturb you. I've seen others that are more hopeful. The picture is mixed. There are both opportunities and risks. Therefore, I'm not going to view things either solely from the vantage point of fear or only from the perspective of idealistic optimism.
Of course, it is important to qualify that I am talking from the perspective of bilateral U.S.-China relations. I don't seek to minimize the very real and legitimate concerns many people in Taiwan have. Taiwan's margin for error is much smaller than that of the U.S. The U.S. has to worry about the region's stability and its balance of power. Many people in Taiwan have existential worries, as China still views Taiwan as a part of China, albeit a part that is temporarily separated.
I am also well aware of the almost mortal fears that the CCP has about loss of control of key pillars of power (including information, something that Google did not understand when it chose to issue an ultimatum on filtering of its search engine to China's government--a confrontation it could not expect to win--departed the country, and then returned after making concessions to the Chinese government), the role doctrine plays in shaping the CCP's worldview, the perceptions concerning foreign exploitation during periods of China's weakness, past episodes of fragmentation when central power waned, past revolutionary episodes, latent nationalism, etc. All those elements color the overall outlook and are likely to do so well into the future.
But things are far from hopeless, at least from a U.S. perspective. There are broad shared interests and that's one foundation on which a constructive partnership can be forged, even while recognizing that there are also areas of difference. Consequently, there are genuine risks, too. But at this point in time, a Cold War-type confrontation (between the U.S. and China) need not be a foregone conclusion. Various paths along which the relationship can proceed exist. Today's choices by China's and the American leaders will shape the evolution of that relationship. Circumstances will, too.
Having said all that, the "surprise" that some express that China is building its hard power commensurate with its growing economic power can only exist from a position of naivete. China was once a great power. Aspirations for a return to such stature are not unexpected, if not the norm when the opportunity presents itself. Furthermore, China is proceeding along the typical path of states that are on a rising power trajectory. Its pursuit of hard power and expanded regional influence is not an exception. There should be no surprises concerning those developments.
It appears that you are assuming that I do not believe the U.S. should be tough where its interests and allies are concerned. If so, that is a fundamental misread of my position.
The U.S. absolutely should be prepared to safeguard its critical regional interests and allies politically, and if necessary, militarily. It should continue to assure a regional balance of power that promotes stability and security, especially as significant historic rivalries and multinational maritime disputes exist (and could be exacerbated by resource scarcity, among other possible triggers). My point is that U.S. firmness should be expressed privately and directly. At all times messages of such firmness should be made credible by appropriate actions, otherwise one is doing nothing more than engaging in hollow posturing. In short, advocating the pursuit of cooperation where opportunities and shared interests permit it does not require the United States to sacrifice or ignore its critical interests or allies.
I thought this thead was about the Chinese passing us in science. I have a question, does anyone else ever spend their own money to develop science, or do they spend their money stealing it from other people? I mean to pass someone else in science, don't you actually have to invent something or coming up with something new and unheard of all by yourself? I mean you can't steal originality. What is it exactly that they are doing, that we've never done? I know we didn't invent everything, but to pass the US you'd better have something on the ball.
Last edited by American; 04-05-11 at 10:30 PM.
"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)