It was not to be this way but unintended consequences always follow major breakthroughs no matter what the advance planning. The opening of China happened after a visit to China by then President Nixon in 1972. This was to be a grand gesture of peace, a “glasnost” of sorts. However, it never occurred to America that this visit would bring a tidal wave of Chinese imported goods to America. Rather than we selling China our goods (that was a mission consideration), the Chinese turned the tables on what was to be the greatest theft of American trade secrets, engineering know-how and manufacturing bravado. The China syndrome is real, it has surreptitiously permeated through to the United States. It did not happen overnight, but as we now know, it is happening now and there is no turning back; America has been had.
At first China sold us cheap junk amassing more purchasing power in dollars that the world has never seen; at one point holding over three trillion United States treasury bills, notes and bonds. China’s footprint covers just about every corner of the world. Their power is unprecedented, their reach beyond question. Country after country dares not challenge them. China will dominate the world in the next two decades in science, engineering, in manufacturing, product design and world hegemony. We on the other hand will see our fortunes disappear like a mirage in the desert sand.
China is manufacturing passenger aircraft in a challenge to Boeing, they are bringing Chinese automobiles to Europe, soon the United States, their fledgling biotech industry is in the forefront of new discoveries, not to mention their prowess in AI, robotics and computer technologies. But what scares us most are the Chinese ex-patriots who hone their skills in the United States and return to the homeland.
Chinese people are driven by desire for a better life through education from the get go. Their upbringing sees to it that life revolves around respect, mutual consideration and an unbearable drive to succeed. Apathy has infected the great majority of Americans who are not driven to succeed, but are very happy with a 4k HD TV and a cell phone; education is no longer a prime goal, neither is to be the best you can be. To make the most of a one time opportunity of the life here on earth is a gift, but the majority of Americans don’t see it that way. When they realize that the beginning of the end is closing in on them it will be too late to turn back the clock. A back of the envelope calculations reveals that 20% plus of the Ivy League schools are Asian American. However, accounting for international admissions the number is significantly higher.
Is there a away to reverse the China onslaught? The next two decades will provide the answers. From this vantage point the future looks bleak. An important point to consider, China thinks long term, we think short term. Chinese government is the engine that drives the private sector with a bias that thwarts foreign competition on the home front. However, they use our laws to open doors for their companies to make inroads in the United States. This is seldom possible in China because of their government run judiciary.