2005 March 09 Wednesday
What Will China Do In The World?

Newsweek has an article about the increasing "soft power" influence of China as the Chinese economy continues to grow and its trade increases.

Beijing's diplomats are tireless salesmen. While America's emissaries rail against tyranny and terror—and vow to spread democracy throughout the world—China's envoys aren't pushing any kind of ideology. And they're not squeamish about human rights; they've cut deals with Burma, Cuba, Sudan, just about anybody. The only thing Beijing asks for is new opportunities for Chinese entrepreneurs to trade and invest—and a promise that its foreign friends will support China's claims on the island of Taiwan. The Beijing official says: "We don't preach like the U.S. does."

Note the non-judgemental utilitarian approach that the Chinese take toward foreign policy. An increasing number of countries are going to see in China an alternative to dealing with a preachy and pushy Washington DC power structure. US influence is set to decline dramatically in the coming decades.

With the growth of Chinese power and influence in mind I am trying to come up with a list of questions about China's likely longer term ambitions. One underlying assumption to these questions is that China's economy will continue to grow more rapidly than the US economy for the next few decades and its energy and other raw materials imports will grow along with its economy.

  • Will China be able to bring Taiwan under control from Beijing?
  • Will China's territorial ambitions extend beyond Taiwan? If so, where?
  • Will Chinese commercial domination of some Asian economies become so great that it will use that domination to force those countries to adopt trade rules with the United States and Europe that are less favorable?
  • Will Chinese troops be used to prop up select regimes that have lots of oil? Sudan comes to mind.
  • Will China encourage more Middle Eastern regimes to develop nuclear weapons capabilities as a way for China to decrease US influence in the Middle East?
  • Will China's government eventually extend as much protection to foreign intellectual property rights as the US and European governments do? Or will Chinese theft of foreign intellectual property become a permanent feature of their legal regime?
  • Will China eventually manage to intimidate Japan into a more submissive position or will Japan become defined by its determination to remain independent of China? Currently Japan appears to be moving in a direction of greater defensiveness and resentment of China even as Japanese business embraces investment in China wholeheartedly.
  • Will large numbers of Chinese men work in the near abroad managing factories in Southeast Asian countries and use their presence to become political powers in those countries?
  • Will elites with tight business connections to China stage coups with Chinese government support to overthrow democratically elected governments that are seen as harmful to Chinese business interests or Chinese national security interests?

I do not have answers to these questions. I also suspect I'm leaving out some important questions about China's role in the world in the future. What do you all think? What do you see China doing in the world in the future?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 March 09 10:46 AM  China


Comments
Chip Thistlethwaite said at March 9, 2005 11:30 AM:

Rather than paraphrase his book, I would just say Patrick Buchanan's "Where the Right Went Wrong" deals with this topic effectively in addition to pointing out Neo-con follies. As you might expect, the most cogent critique of the right must come from the right, and Mr. Buchanan has the conservative credentials to do so. He says China can't challenge the U.S. navy in the area right now, and it may have to deal with worker demands for benefits and safety standards as did other mature capitalist economies as they developed, but China has formidable territorial ambitions all around its border extending to decisive influence as far as the Philippines and including the South China Sea. A pretty good read.

I enjoy Parapundit immensely. My co-workers think I'm a liberal, but I'm really a middle-aged, middle of the road conservative who thinks the U.S. gov. has been hi-jacked, regardless of the apparent progress toward democratic government in the Middle East!

Chip

GUYK said at March 9, 2005 11:52 AM:

Capitalism has a tough time surviving in a communist/socialist run government. I suspect that once a majority of Chinese workers get a taste of the benifits of their production they will demand more freedom along with more access to consummer goods. I believe the primary question is how long will the current ruling elite manage to hold on to power and secondary to that is what will emerge to replace them.

crush41 said at March 9, 2005 3:31 PM:

My uneducated opinion in need of being set straight: Anti-proliferation seems to be an exercise in futility. The best hedge against PRC expansionism is a nuclear Taiwan and Japan as well as a demand that China allow foreign imports as easy access into its country as so many other countries allow Chinese exports into theirs. Until the latter happens, there's not really any "free-trade". And as China gains more and more control of (and a hedge against) US assets, as Warren Buffet pointed out, it's going to be continually more difficult for the US to manipulate her.

With entitlement spending/promises out of control and political correctness making the US increasingly permissive, it's hard to imagine that American global influence is anything other than on the decline. If in fifty years China is the world's sole superpower many contemporary American-haters and nay-sayers are going to look back and say "those yanks weren't really so bad."

Randall,

You say you don't have the answers to the questions you posed, but I believe many readers would benefit from you taking a stab at them.

Stephen said at March 9, 2005 3:44 PM:

Danger, humongous generalisation ahead:

Historically, China has not been expansionary
Historically, China has been isolationist
Historically, China has taken the long view of history

Randall Parker said at March 9, 2005 4:09 PM:

crush41,

I certainly think that both the US and Taiwan would gain if Taiwan went nuclear. I do not think the US will have the will or the resources in the long run to protect Taiwan.

My own answers: I'm reading about China a lot recently and I haven't come to many conclusions. I am hoping to hear what others think.

Stephen,

Of course historically Germany was split up into a bunch of principalities. Then Napoleon invaded and the idea of nationalism rubbed off on them. Then came Bismarck and the Kaiser and Hitler.

Also, historically Chinese people could deceive themselves into thinking the rest of the world didn't matter. Then came the 19th century and the European colonialism and the far more extensive Japanese colonialism. Me thinks they do not look at the world the way they used to.

My question is just how hostile are the Chinese toward Japan and the United States and even Europe? They have a lot of feelings of being aggrieved and wronged by outsiders. Never mind that they did far worse to themselves. They are more focused on wrongs from abroad. That is one thing that concerns me. The other big concern is a sort of extreme amoral utilitarianism. I'm worried where that might lead.

Kurt said at March 9, 2005 6:40 PM:

I have not spent much time living in Mainland China, so my comments are of someone who is looking in from the outside.

Historically, the Chinese have not been expansionistic. They do want to have places that they define as "traditionally Chinese" like Taiwan and tend to view places with lots of Chinese people as being China. However, I don't think that this will lead to them wanting to annex Vancouver B.C. and other places to China.

One historical pattern to note about how China conducts its foreign affairs is that they usually do not take over "other countries" (Tibet as exception) but like to have the countries around China divided and weak so that the Chinese have influence over them. Generally the "front-line" countries have gone along with this with the notable exception of Vietnam. The Vietnamese have fought the Chinese for a thousand years and tend to be much better warriors than the Chinese. China got its arse whipped in a 6 week border war with Vietnam in early 1979, even though Vietnam is a much smaller country.

Most Chinese young people today are "single children" (have no siblings) and single children tend to make poor warriors.

China is headed for a big time banking crises that will probably stop their economic growth for a few years. This will cause some political instability and, in turn, make China's government vulnerable to "illiberal" factions. This will make China dangerous for a while. Once they come out of this, growth will resume, probably even faster than it is now.

China's central government is rattling the sabers because they really do not have alot of power and fear that the country could break apart (which they do from time to time). If China breaks apart, the different regions will be competing with each other in trade, investment, and economic growth. This will probably be more positive than negative.

I'm not sure that the average Chinese in the street cares about freedom in the western sense. I think that they want to live the good life (make lots of money and live a high standard of living) and don't care so much about who runs the government as long as its done competently and the government leaves them alone to live the life they want. This is the same attitude people have in Singapore and the same attitude that I had the ten years I lived in Japan, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

The thing that does piss people off is corruption. Machievelli talks about this in The Discourses and I think that the Beijing leadership is rational enough to realize that this is a problem and are trying to control it.

The Chinese tend to do things in a "chaotic" manner. This suggests that as China's economy grows and grows, the central government will have less and less power over everything and everyone. This will make them nervous and potentially dangerous.

Other than that, its really hard to say what China will be like in 2050.

kurt said at March 9, 2005 6:43 PM:

Chip,

Like yourself, I am occasionally accused of being a liberal even though I am conservative, simply because I am not a neo-con and was against the war in Iraq for "republic vs empire" reasons. Jerry Pournelle (who is definitely not a liberal) says that he gets lots of flack for being "obsessed" with the republic vs empire issue.

crush41 said at March 9, 2005 8:34 PM:

Historically, China has not been expansionary
Historically, China has been isolationist
----

Don't tell the Koreans that. I'm currently taking a course on Korean history up to the nineteenth century and have recently read five books on the subject for a research paper. Koguryo and Paekche, two of the Three Kingdoms in early AD Korea, fell because of an alliance between Silla and an expansionist Tang China. Koryo Korea was ravaged by the Yuan as nearly all of Asia was, with the exception of fortuitous Japan, which was saved on two separate occasions by "kamikazes" that ripped the hell out of the sea-clumsy Mongols.

So I'd say it depends on how far back you go. The Han (206BC-220AD), Tang (618-918AD), the Mongolian Yuan (1279-1368AD), and the Ching (1644-1911AD) dynasties were all fairly to aggressively expansionist in East Asia (specifically Korea, the northern Asia steppe, southeast Asia, and Japan.) The Yuan even went as far as Eastern and Central Europe. Other dynasties, like the Song (960-1279AD), were very isolationist.

Kurt, how hard is it to find an "average" Chinese citizen? My limited knowledge is all pedantic, but from what I've read, much of the country cannot even communicate with other parts of it due to language and cultural barriers. I guess that would bode against any expansionism?

Kenelm Digby said at March 10, 2005 2:25 AM:

I believe that is apparent that the Chinese government only has one real priority; namely making money.All other considerations, including the projection of military and diplomatic force appear to come secondary (at least in the medium term), to this overarching priority.

noone said at March 10, 2005 3:56 AM:

"Historically, China has not been expansionary"

When China was powerful,it reduced(or attempted to reduce)it's neighbors to the status of tributary kingdoms.

"Historically, China has been isolationist"

Because the Chinese are among the worst racists on the planet,rivaled only by the Japanese and especially the Koreans(who have been known to make those old nazis sound almost multicultural)

China's economic growth is self-limiting,as they,like other export oriented economies,must pay double shipping costs(raw material to China,finished goods to export markets).
The faster and bigger China grows,the higher the cost of oil=the higher the cost of shipping and the faster China's "cheap labor" advantage erodes and the more local producers become more competitive.Someone in another thread pointed out Dell as an example of this.

I predict China won't make any big moves for 5-15 yrs,at which time it will have large numbers of SU-27's(and derivatives)a number TU-22's(a platform specificaly designed to attack US carriers) and huge amount of young cannon fodder(demographic imbalance)and a nuclear arsenal "good enough" to neutralize our nuclear force.

OTH,a crisis could force China to make it's moves earlier
But when China moves,it will have to make all it's big moves at once(roll US back across Pacific,Finlandize Japan,Korea,etc and grab Siberia,they've been quietly but publicly encouraging illegal migration into the area for years).

BTW,I don't think many non-Chinese would enjoy living in a Sino-centric world.

gcochran said at March 10, 2005 12:20 PM:

Wrong. Ocean shipping is cheap. Freight costs aren't a huge factor fow low-value items like coal, and for any kind of consumer product they're just about insignificant.

You could look it up.

tian li said at March 10, 2005 12:29 PM:

One major factor that everyone has overlooked is China's environment. The top most polluted cities in the world are all located in China. Water shortage and water quality are also a major problem. With demographics showing increasing numbers of retirees beginning to place an increasing demand on the pension structure, along with the illnesses caused by long term exposure to high levels of pollution, will combine to place an unprecidented and enormous burden on social costs.

Randall Parker said at March 10, 2005 12:52 PM:

Greg,

For a company like Dell having a bunch of computers sitting on a ship for weeks is costly in terms of inventory - and computers are a type of product with a rapid depreciation. The inventory loses value during the voyage. Also, customized construction in response to orders to ship quickly is easier to do when the product is made domestically. Plus, bigger on-ship inventories increases the likelihood of being stuck with excess product when demand shifts. So shipping really is a cost consideration for Dell due to the delays from shipping longer distances.

Derek Copold said at March 10, 2005 1:48 PM:

Does Dell assemble the PC's in China, or does it manufacture the components there? The components have a great deal more shelf-life than an assembly. A case for example is just as valuable now as it was two or three years ago.

Randall Parker said at March 10, 2005 1:57 PM:

Derek,

When you buy a Dell Computer in the United States you get a computer that was assembled in the United States.

Kevin said at March 10, 2005 2:01 PM:

PC cases are a bad example of a good point: for home PCs, case design is already a purchase driver for all but the very cheapest computers, and as the cheap PCs get even cheaper and move into the home media complex, people are going to be willing to pay more for good-looking hardware (see: iPod).

gcochran said at March 10, 2005 2:14 PM:

I know all that. But I don't think that this effect limits Chinese growth much. They still are free to compete in anything that doesn't change too fast and anything whose value is high enough to justify air freight. And of course people are now talking about fast container ships, maybe as fast as 40 knots.

Lurker said at March 10, 2005 6:46 PM:

Trying to take Taiwan nuclear would be a mistake. I would envision that as being seen as a 'Cuban-missile crisis' to the Chinese. It would almost certainly demand an immediate military response. Could we deal with that response...yes. But is it worth a major war for a tiny island? They will take Taiwan back... eventually, but unless they are provoked they are likely to continue playing the waiting and watching game.

The larger and much more important issue is the competition for natural resources that growing by the day. China is workign hard to cut deals with Iran, Venezuala, Russia, etc. All the countries that have oil and have a reason not to like the US. This is just oil, they will also be seeking water, timber, grain, meat, metals, etc.

There is also the issue of the US national debt and the weakness of the dollar. China could dump their supply of dollars and cause the currency undergo a major devaluation, or could call for repayment of all their US treasury notes and cause the US government to go bankrupt. NOT that these scenarios are likely to happen, but it is more than a little alarming that this situation exists.

We will have to see if China's economy continues to grow or begins to overheat and meltdown. But don't forget, right behind China is India.

Misteri said at March 10, 2005 7:21 PM:

1. Invade Taiwan.
2. Invade Japan.
3. Invade Vietnam.

John S Bolton said at March 10, 2005 9:01 PM:

China will come into conflict with India and Russia before they would take on America. If the Chinese economy were 1.5 trillion they could devote less than 1/3 of it to military expenditures, and match ours. The facial gestures and chuckles, and their verbal equivalents, that many give in the place where a rational argument is to be expected, when the subject is brought up, that Chinese economic expansion could be intended by officials for essentially military supportive purposes, indicates a lack of arguments to contraindicate this possible intent.

Randall Parker said at March 10, 2005 9:11 PM:

Lurker,

If the Taiwanese had nukes then they'd suddenly be on far more equal ground with China. How is that going to cause something analgous to the Cuban missile crisis? The United States wouldn't need to help the Taiwanese go nuclear. They could do it on their own.

Chinese calling for repayment of Treasury notes? Huh? The bonds have expiration dates. The holders of those bonds can't accelerate those dates.

But China would shoot itself in the foot if it caused a large US dollar devaluation. This would cause a big reduction in Chinese exports and unemployment in China. The government can ill afford to cause lots of young men to be unemployed.

Randall Parker said at March 10, 2005 9:13 PM:

Lurker,

Also, India is not right behind China. India is growing more slowly and falling behind. China probably has a much higher average IQ and so that result should not be surprising.

Stephen said at March 10, 2005 9:35 PM:

Here's a CIA projection of the world in 2020. http://www.cia.gov/nic/NIC_globaltrend2020_s2.html

Not surprisingly China figures in every second sentence. Also has some interesting trend graphs.

crush41 said at March 10, 2005 10:13 PM:

Lurker,

-------------
China could dump their supply of dollars and cause the currency undergo a major devaluation, or could call for repayment of all their US treasury notes and cause the US government to go bankrupt.
-------------

If worst came to worst, the US government could issue bonds exclusively to US citizens to raise funds to pay off debt held by foreigners. If foreigners responded by buying those new bonds in the secondary market, the US gov't could perpetually go through the cycle, enriching its own citizens in the process. The holding of debt isn't scary, it's the acquisition of real assets within the US that makes me nervous. Anyhow, the devaluation of the dollar is an inevitable part of a long-term trade deficit.

-------------
water, timber, grain, meat, metals, etc.
-------------

Have you been to Mongolia recently?

-------------
They will take Taiwan back... eventually, but unless they are provoked they are likely to continue playing the waiting and watching game.
-------------

Not if Taiwan goes nuclear. I heard this morning that the Taiwanese military is undergoing extensive war game training. Now would be the time for Chen to go nuclear and declare complete, true independence, while China is still too infantile to risk military action (and while the US still has the muscle to deter that action). What could be worse than an expansionist China with the brainpower of the Taiwanese under its auspice?

------------
India is not right behind China. India is growing more slowly and falling behind. China probably has a much higher average IQ and so that result should not be surprising.
------------

Randall,

Would you expound on this? According to CIA factbook, India's GDP (2003) was 8.3% compared to China's GDP (2003) of 9.1%. As for the IQ, what is a legitimate site for IQs by country? Perhaps the Invisible Scientist might offer some guidance as well? I've flipped through several sites in recent weeks and the "data" is all over the place. Some tests must be culturally defunct as they list average IQs as low as the 50s. Can one even breathe regularly with such a cruel lack of natural endowment?

Economics aside, I can't imagine India posing anywhere near the potential threat that China does, as public opinion is very favorable of the US there and we are their largest exporters. Plus we need them to continually fill university engineering and business programs here.

Medium said at March 11, 2005 12:06 AM:

Chinese people aren't interested in voting and democracy. These are western ideas. They are interested in money (religeon), status and face. Anyone who has visited/worked/lived in Singapore (once a Malay village now populated by predominantly Chinese) in the early 80's will have realised this.

Kenelm Digby said at March 11, 2005 2:27 AM:

I fear that talk of an "oil shortage" putting the brakes on rapid Chinese expansion is little more than hyperbole.Yes, China is the world's second largest oil consumer, and in the short term will be the biggest,obviously putting pressure on finite natural resources, but one factor that is overlooke is China's nuclear program, most particularly the development of HTGR reactors.HTGR reactors,(someone correct me if I'm wrong), are inherently safer and more efficent than the conventional water designs now in use, using highly enriched uranium spheres, graphite moderated, colcooled by a closed circuit helium system feeding to gas turbines.The potential of this design in energy production, if not actually solving the "energy problem" once and for all is enormous.
I have no doubt that Chinese determination, organisation and intelligence will make a rolling program of HTGR reactors a certainty.
Ironically, the reearch and development work for HTGRs eas conducted by the Western powers in the 1950s to 1970s, but then abandoned.

noone said at March 11, 2005 6:51 AM:

Interesting,my timetable may be off.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A22110-2005Mar9.html

5th paragraph

China demands Australia "review" it's defence treaty with the U.S..

"Australia "needs to be careful," Beijing Foreign Ministry official He Yafei reportedly warned, lest it wind up in a confrontation with China as part of its treaty obligations to the United States."

Invisible Scientist said at March 11, 2005 7:45 AM:

The High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactors (HTGR) are not much more efficient than the latest versions
of the high pressure water cooled reactors. The HTGR reactors, such as the Pebble Bed Reactor that
MIT was working on, do have the advantage of being totally safe, but the issue of long term nuclear waste
is not solved by these.

The main problem is the fact that
1) The amount of uranium in the world, including reserves, will
be a problem if the entire world relies on nuclear energy,
and
2) The accumulating long term nuclear waste will be unmanageable if the world does \
end up building thousands of more reactors of the existing type (including HTGR, which is still conventional,
because the world will need thousands of such reactors if we switch to nuclear energy for everything in the
future.

But the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) is a significant evolution, and this system has the
capability to burn all the long term nuclear waste while it is generated in the reactor, as it own fuel.
Additionally, this type of reactor is up to 100 times more uranium fuel efficient, which would
guarantee that the uranium reserves in the world will remain adequate for centuries even
if the whole world uses nuclear power extensively.

For a variety or reasons, including greed, this IFR system research was discontinued after its
feasibility was demonstrated.

John said at March 11, 2005 4:21 PM:

India is quite a formidable country.

It has a relatively young population of over 1 billion people. Many are well-educated and can speak English.

Since the early 1990s, India has experienced strong economic growth. Today the GDP of India is approximately $3 trillion. Agriculture, industry, services, and information technology have seen all seen remarkably rapid growth. The booming software industry of India has become known throughout the world. Considering that India has yet to make many fundamental economic reforms and open up many sectors for foreign investment, there's no doubt that India can probably managage an even higher growth rate in the coming decades.

India is technologically very advanced in some areas. It has built satellites, nuclear weapons, missiles, rockets, and super computers.

India hasn't yet caught China because its leaders haven't been as a aggressive about making reforms and ecnouraging foreign investment. However, India certainly has the capability to be a major competitor of China if it decides to.

John said at March 11, 2005 4:25 PM:

I don't see how anyone could conclude that Chinese are smarter than Indians when most of the high-tech jobs are being outsourced to India.

Lurker said at March 11, 2005 5:04 PM:

-------
If the Taiwanese had nukes then they'd suddenly be on far more equal ground with China. How is that going to cause something analgous to the Cuban missile crisis? The United States wouldn't need to help the Taiwanese go nuclear. They could do it on their own.
-------

Taiwan...on 'equal' ground with China? Would a nuclear-armed Cuba be on 'equal' ground with the US?

-------
China will come into conflict with India and Russia before they would take on America
-------

BRIC (Brazil, Russia, China, India)
http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/12-24b-04.asp

-------
Also, India is not right behind China. India is growing more slowly and falling behind. China probably has a much higher average IQ and so that result should not be surprising.
-------

Yes, they are not growing as fast as China but they are still a nation of over a billion people and they are expected to have growth around 7pct this year. More important, they are also aggressively seeking hydorcarbon resources and have recently signed a deal with Iran for natural gas.

Randall Parker said at March 11, 2005 5:20 PM:

Lurker,

India's deal with with Iran for natural gas is dwarfed by China's much larger deal with Iran for natural gas and oil.

Randall Parker said at March 11, 2005 5:26 PM:

John,

The effective amount of outsourcing to India is far less than the amount to China. China is getting lots of corps setting up R&D and manufacturing facilities. Manufacturing uses lots of skilled workers in designing electric circuits, machine tools, and assorted other devices. The hiring of English-speaking Indian programmers gets a lot more press but is a drop in the bucket in comparison.

Also, India's population of over 1 billion very low paid people of course has some intellectual cream to be skimmed off into high tech work. That cream does not speak to the quality of the average worker there.

Stephen said at March 11, 2005 7:13 PM:

Managing India must be near impossible with its multiple languages + multiple religions + multiple societies + nasty caste systems + widespread illiteracy + endemic mass poverty (you've not seen real poverty until you've wandered around India). On the upside, India's parliamentary democracy works well.

Contrast India with China where literacy is high, there is no unhealthy caste system, society is reasonably uniform and poverty is more akin to being rural poor. China's communist gov. appears to be pragmatic rather than dogmatic when it comes to managing its economy - ironically, China's communist government seems to be more free market oriented than the US.

If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on China for this century, and india for next century.

Stephen said at March 11, 2005 7:23 PM:

A final thought - once China flowers as a superpower (ie develops a capacity and willingness to project military and economic force), the US will have to return to the UN and rebuild the relationships its destroyed over the last few years. No more unilateralism, but hello multilaterism.

crush41 said at March 11, 2005 9:37 PM:

US will have to return to the UN and rebuild the relationships its destroyed over the last few years. No more unilateralism, but hello multilaterism.
-----------------

That would take about two days. I didn't know France, Germany, Russia, and China were such staunch allies two years ago. Seems the first two have very little in common with the latter two but they hastily amalgamated into an anti-US force.

Do you think a superpower China would respect the UN anyhow? If they learn anything from history, it should be that the UN does nothing if it doesn't continually depredate powerful nations. And since the US is a permanent member of the Security Council and so is China, you have a perpetual veto.

I think it's time to step up the FTAA stuff.

Stephen said at March 11, 2005 11:28 PM:

crush, you're probably right about how long it'd take to reforge the friendships.

As for respecting the UN, I don't expect any monopoly superpower to respect the UN because that's not in its interests. But in a world with multiple superpowers, I do think the UN becomes the preferred forum for superpower debates.

Free trade is good in a global sense - provided 'free' means free in both directions. Of course, free trade hurts tens of thousands of individuals a great deal, while providing a generally small benefit to tens of millions.

John said at March 12, 2005 10:18 AM:

The point is that the high-IQ work (information technology, software design, pharmaceutical research, logic system design in computer chips, reading CT scans, market research) is MUCH more likely to be outsourced to India than China. China has had some high-tech work outsourced to it, but high-tech workers see India as being a much more dire threat to their jobs than China.

While some of the work is in high-end manufacturing, most of the work being outsourced to China needs only semi-skilled laborers. The work being outsourced to China is similar to the work being outsourced to Latin America.

"Also, India's population of over 1 billion very low paid people of course has some intellectual cream to be skimmed off into high tech work. That cream does not speak to the quality of the average worker there."

The high-tech work being done in India is hardly inconsequential. Indian engineers have built and launched satellites, developed nuclear weapons and missiles without any outside assistance, designed supercomputers, and currently are working on fast breeder reactors. Given that India receives little outside assistance and is unable to adequately fund the R&D for these projects, these accomplishments are amazing.

Indian scientists are currently doing a lot of important work in biotechnology, GM crops, pharmaceuticals, and stem cell research.

Anybody that's in science, engineering, or software in the U.S. is aware of the strong contributions that Indian-American immigrants are making.

There's no way that Indians could be doing all this without there being a large number of very intelligent, industrious, and well-educated people within India. There success should demonstrate that India clearly has a huge amount of human potential just waiting to be harnessed.

Randall Parker said at March 12, 2005 10:43 AM:

Stephen,

The UN isn't going to protect the US. Multilateralism is just getting together with other countries and doing stuff as a group. What is needed to make that happen are countries that have perceived common interests. But the UN would prevent most such groupings since it takes just one UN Security Council permanent member to veto some group's plans.

crush41,

The FTAA unfortunately is with Latin America. Latin America isn't going to become some sort of economic counterweight to China until genetic engineering for boosting IQs is developed.

John said at March 12, 2005 8:33 PM:

India has a population of over 1 billion people. India is armed with nuclear weapons and missiles. India has a large and highly accomplished high-tech work force that has launched satellites, built nuclear weapons, developed long range missiles, and made India very competitive in information technology. India's economy is already quite large and continues to grow rapidly at a 6-8% rate. India is a free and open democracy similar to the United States or England.

Why not ally with India to contain China?

Raj said at July 3, 2005 12:27 PM:

It is foolish to value a country based on Money. A better measure is the resources, technologial progress, lifestyle and collective intelligence available in a respective country.


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