Comparing China and America: One rises while the other flounders

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I have followed China’s development, its stunning advance in forty years from impoverished Third World to a huge economy, its rapid scientific progress. Coming from nowhere it now runs neck and neck with the US in supercomputers, does world-class work in genetic engineering and genomics (the Beijing Genomics Institutes), quantum computing and quantum radar, in scientific publications. It lags in many things, but the speed of advance, the intense focus on progress, is remarkable. Recently, after twelve years away, I returned for a couple of weeks to Chungdu and Chong Quing, which I found amazing. American patriots of the lightly read but growly sort will bristle at the thought that the Chinese may have political and economic systems superior to ours, but, well, China rises while the US flounders. They must be doing something right. In terms of economic systems, the Chinese are clearly superior. China runs a large economic surplus, allowing it to invest heavily in infrastructure and…

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