I tend to see China’s rise as a huge win for the world. I mean, that’s 20% of humanity. They today match their portion of the global economy, and their portion of the global population match exactly, you know, countries like Australia, U.S., we have per capita GDP’s five times what the Chinese have. So we have a disproportionate share of the world’s economy.
You know, I do think the current mentality of the U.S. to China — and which is reciprocated — is kind of a lose-lose mentality. If you ask U.S. politicians, ‘Hey, would you like the Chinese economy to shrink by 20% or grow by 20%?’ I’m afraid they would vote that, ‘Yeah, let’s immiserate those people,’ not understanding that for the global economy, the invention of cancer drugs, the solution of climate change, you know we’re all in this together. We’re humans. We innovate together, and we have to change the modern industrial economy together in a pretty dramatic fashion.
The U.S. is politically weaker today, I would say, than it’s been, and you know, that’s scary for the world. The current world system is designed around U.S. leadership. As other countries have gotten richer, these middle-income countries including China and India need to play a stronger role in world governance.