China vs. the U.S.

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. saturn5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2009
    star 4
    China is the greatest human rights abuser in the world. The thought of it as the dominant superpower is terrifying
  2. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    China is the greatest human rights abuser in the world. The thought of it as the dominant superpower is terrifying

    You need to keep things in perspective. China has committed widespread human rights abuses, but the greatest? You have to try very hard to top North Korea, the Taliban, the Soviet Union under Stalin, and Cambodia under Pol Pot.
  3. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    The one thing that helps China compared to the US is their ability to adapt and change to conditions. With the knowledge that resources are twindling and oil is drying up, China is doing something about alternative energy. They are switching over ASP with no regard for money so they can lead the way when the time comes. America is awash in burecratic and political turmoil so nothing is to be expected in the near decade. Meanwhile the Chinese will just keep producing more green energy and securing all resources so the Americans will be forced to buy from China. Oh yes expect China to rule us. Expect America to end. Not with cry but with a whimper. America will be nothing more then hospitals and shopping malls.

  4. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Seven Flaws in China's Growth Model:


    Excessive Capital Investment

    Beijing rewards provincial and local government officials with promotions if they manage their regions well. For decades, the chief measure of progress was success in providing jobs for a rapidly growing urban workforce. That usually meant building factories or adding infrastructure, whether needed or not. Such overcapacity leads to waste of scarce resources, deflation and dumping of excess production abroad.

    Financial Mismanagement

    Local officials force state-owned banks to finance that construction at next-to-nothing rates, with no regard for borrowers' suitability. Inevitably, nonperforming loans pile up on the banks' balance sheets. Beijing already recapitalized the four largest state banks once, forcing ordinary depositors to foot the bill, which hurt consumption. Now bad loans are once again on the rise, a result of the $586-billion stimulus China poured through banks last year. Though Beijing could manage another bailout, it certainly can't go through this cycle endlessly.

    Flawed Education

    Chinese colleges graduate many times the number of engineers and scientists that American universities produce, but such statistics are misleading. To meet the quotas for graduates set by Beijing, academic programs dilute their standards. They further inflate their count by counting as engineering students those studying to become mechanics or industrial technicians. The result, according to a pioneering study led by Duke University professors Gary Gereffi and Vivek Wadhwa, is that many of these graduates fall far short of the standards imposed by U.S. colleges and universities. When they graduate, many are unable to find work in their professions.

    Stifled Innovation

    Those engineers and scientists who do measure up -- the cream of Chinese universities or those who study overseas and return home -- often have little freedom to explore. If they work for state-owned firms or universities, Beijing dictates the direction of research and development. Many gravitate to the more open atmosphere at private firms, but these companies can't get loans to grow because state enterprises gobble up the capital. Beijing aims to compensate by forcing multinationals to transfer advanced technology as the cost of doing business in China, but foreign firms are fighting back hard.

    Environmental Degradation

    Water pollution and water shortages pose the most serious problems. They cause health ailments, damage agriculture, jam up hydroelectric dams, interfere with manufacturing and limit urbanization. As aquifers dry up, soil erodes, turning an area the size of Connecticut to desert every year. The resulting dust storms add to the country's already horrendous air pollution. Beijing's preferred solution to the problem is a massive south-to-north river diversion project. Odds are, that will make matters worse, draining water from already overtaxed southern supplies.

    Corruption

    One of the major reasons Beijing has such a hard time dealing with all the problems mentioned above is that so many individuals have a vested interest in keeping things exactly as they are. Communist Party officials pay for their advancement, then aim to earn back their investment. Local governments seize houses and land, sell it to developers with little compensation for those displaced, then take kickbacks from the construction companies. Academics provide kickbacks to the party in exchange for research funding. U.S. companies operating in China suffer as well. "When U.S companies hire for research and development there, there's a lot of pressure to put Communist Party members in key positions," says Wadhwa.

    Beijing does make examples of particularly corrupt officials and business leaders, sometimes even executing the offenders. But the problem of corruption is endemic, says Liao Ran, a China specialist with Transparency I
  5. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    The relevant model is China v. India.
  6. Rouge77 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2005
    star 5
    It's hard to be a dominant superpower and not to be the greatest human rights abuser in the world at the same time. They pretty much go hand in hand.

    Yet the difference between United States and China is that USA pretty much wants the whole world to be like it. It's on a mission of assimilation, it wants the whole world to be one big God Bless America. China's autocratic leaders are more cautious and don't suffer from a Messiah complex. They are not importing their way of government - although naturally as China becomes more powerful, it's government will be seen as a more positive a model among elites of the world, especially in developing countries - they just want to benefit from the world, get favourable outcomes. They do unsavoury deals with corrupt governments in third world countries to get their hands in the natural resources etc in those countries, but it's a positive thing that they, unlike the USA's political elite, don't see and declare themselves to be on a grand crusade for everything that is good (aka "American") and thus wash their bloody hands in oceans of naive, syrupy idealism.
  7. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I would be upset, but at least I'll have a good laugh with our Chinese overlords.

    Do you have any evidence to back up your absurd assertions?

    And by a "more positive model" do you mean China's declaration that the South China Sea is a now just a lake it owns, and has driven the elites of its neighbors, such as our BFF Vietnam to invite us evil Americans over for dinner?

    China wants to extract resources and doesn't care how it is done. How is this a "faourable outcome?"

    America has done what is in its interests. And apparently you equate any form of human rights considerations to be a form of American Imperialism because obviously the natives are too stupid or different to value such things.

    Look around. This is a world that America has largely created over the past 50 years. The alternatives haven't been rainbows and lollipops, they have been Axis forces, and then the Soviets. Americans are rarely accused of being naive idealists, usually it was the hard nosed realist policies that went against our democratic values in support of local friendly authoritarians that people get upset over.

    And in this global society we created, and allowed American industry to be undermined by our mercantile former foes so that the Germans and Japanese would build cars instead of tanks. Have there been cases of American exceptionalism gone too far? Sure. Would you rather have had us just remove Saddam and replace him with a ruthless dictator that liked America? Then we wouldn't be naive idealists imposing the American way of life on Iraqis.

    The grass is always greener, and China is no angel. What makes you think it will treat the citizens of the nations of the world any better than its own citizens when it gains the same amount of power over them? What is currently preventing it from committing the same types of abuses it does to its citizens? Oh that's right, the big bad old USA.

    We don't need to argue about whether the day will come when they have a huge amount of power, but China just declared it owns the ocean of naive sappy idealism, and you are drowning in it.
  8. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Yet the difference between United States and China is that USA pretty much wants the whole world to be like it.

    The U.S. has proven again and again that it doesn't really care whether it supports military dictatorships or capitalist democracies. Our overriding concern for the last century has been access to markets and maintaining our position as the dominant consumer of the world's resources. We've lost the spot of top energy consumer to China. Soon, China will become the world's dominant economy overall. The real challenge will come when more than a billion Chinese strive toward per capita consumption approaching the level of western Europeans or Americans. There are not enough commodity resources in the world for that to happen unless Americans and western Europeans, and the wealthy Asian countries for that matter, become significantly poorer.

    The likeliest scenario is that American per capita consumption drops toward Chinese and Indian levels over the next one hundred years and we all meet in the middle somewhere.

    The caveats about China's corruption and environmental catastrophe are well taken but also need to be put into the context that China is already a net importer of energy, food and commodity resources. Its future growth depends on its ability to secure an increasing global share of those inputs which it has to import. It simply cannot keep doing that for another decade without coming into increasing conflict with the U.S., Europe and Japan. Eventually, these challenges will curtail its growth.

    In the meantime, it's interesting to look at the problem from a historical perspective. In the second half of the 19th century, when the British Empire and its industrial revolution were at a near peak, William Stanley Jevons wrote the incredible book, The Coal Question.
    Jevons saw this coming several decades before the U.S. overtook Britain as the world's biggest economy, but it would be nearly a century before the U.S. became the world's dominant military power, kept in check only by the Soviet Union.

    This transition, to the extent that it is comparable to the U.S.-China transition, suggests that the U.S. will lose its military advantage over China within 50 years of losing its economic advantage.

    Jevons books also points out the difference between the rise of the U.S. and the rise of power. America's rise was predicated on inexpensive labor and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of domestic commodity resources. China has built its growth on inexpensive labor, but must import much of its industrial resource base.
  9. Rouge77 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2005
    star 5
    United States wasn't interested in saving the "world" until Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. US made UK pay a heavy price for the equipment it got before that. Germany was broken in the East Front, and United States just played a part in liberating part of the Western Europe from Germany. Of course, in Hollywood movies and TV series it looks quite different. And then US run with open arms to the Cold War, it's elite suddenly having got the idea that it had to "protect" the world from Soviet Union. Which handily let US troops to stay in areas where they have never been before and where US had had little to no influence before, and to spread to other areas as the European colonialism came to an end. Ideology was just an excuse. USA went to support the killing of something like 500 000 people in Central American civil wars from 1950s to 1990s. Yet USA had been doing the same before Communism, since 1898, supporting those "local friendly authoritarians" - which was always a choice, and often anything but hard-nosed. All the time portraying itself as a good-intentioned idealistic state on a crusade for the good of all, every petty coup opening a "new front" in "fight for freedom". I mean, how can you not trying to make yourself appear as a nation of naive idealists if you declare your president to be a "Leader of the Free World" at the same time that most of your allies were dictatorships...

    USA isn't stopping China doing anything at the moment. Nowhere where China is spreading it's influence is USA doing anything meaningful to oppose it. Oh, Taiwan gets to buy new arms from USA, but who really thinks that China would invade Taiwan and put the world and it's own economy in turmoil? What China's leaders don't want to do is rock the boat because they fear it capsizes and they drown. China is also not going to get any kind of great power over citizens of other nations anytime soon, it's helping some nasty regimes to survive - like in Burma - and is helping possibly nasty regimes to appear in other countries (like Sri Lanka), so it's making some countries worse places for their citizens. The slavemasters are still locals, just as they have mostly been in USA's Empire.

    I'm not saying that China is a force for good in the world at the moment beyond pumping money in third world economies and helping to build infrastructure here and there. The difference to US is, that China doesn't want the world be like it, it doesn't the world adore it, to adopt it's culture and cuisine etc, although it does want more people to learn speak Chinese so that it's business would be easier.
  10. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I'm sorry, but until you make up your mind, I can't argue with a split personality disorder. We are either hypocrites using ideals a as a cover to get what we want, or we are idealists trying to spread democracy and our ideals and way of life. You don't get to argue that we don't actually believe in those ideals, and then complain about us wanting others to follow those ideals.

    What China is today is not what it will be forever. Are you an expert on China? If you have such confidence in your predictions, put your money where your mouth is and invest. And I think your criticism of the US gaining influence in areas it previously did not is actually just funny. What alternative was there? Oh wait half of Europe tried it out.

    Despite your attempts, you can't just remove
  11. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Both nations have things to answer for.

    China has big human rights problems and wants to control other nations. It already controls Tibet and if it didn't fear global repercussions it would probably invade and conqueer other areas too.
    It is a huge comsumer of fossil fuels and will at some point (if it already isn't) be producing more emmissions than the USA is.
    On top of that, it has over 1billion people. If it wants those people to live as well as people in western nations there will be serious resource problems followed by a large dieoff to sustain the population (as is tha natural way of things). This will almost certainly happen in India & China and in other parts of the world later.

    USA by contrast supports more freedom of its people, but will still try to fool the world into thinking it is doing things for the good of everyone else and not itself.

    Invading Iraq was little more than an Oil grabbing scheme and to show off how tough America is and probably because Bush was bored. Afghanistan was retaliation for 9/11 but also to lay claim to the various resources the country has. There were no plans to restore either country properly after the intial conflict because that was not really the point of invading in the first place.
    If the USA really cares about freeing nations from oppressive regimes, why does it ally with Pakistan? Why has it made no effort to invade a nation like Zimbabwe and oust Robert Mugabe? Simple - Zimbabwe has no resources America wants to control. If it's not to their benefit to do it, they won't.
  12. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Invading Iraq was little more than an Oil grabbing scheme and to show off how tough America is and probably because Bush was bored.

    I disagreed strongly with the Iraq war, but oil grabbing as the reason? I don't think so. Not only are we not getting any oil wealth to speak of, Iraq is a massive money drain for us....what has the war cost us, a couple trillion now? I do think however that Bush was an intellectually lazy man who quickly jumped to the "Saddam Hussein is evil" thing without coming up with any moral justification for invading Iraq.

    Afghanistan was retaliation for 9/11 but also to lay claim to the various resources the country has. There were no plans to restore either country properly after the intial conflict because that was not really the point of invading in the first place.

    Once again I don't think Afghanistan has any resources to speak of. If Afghanistan had anything of value it wouldn't be the backwater it is today. We only found large mineral deposits there earlier this year, so that might change. But like Iraq, Afghanistan is another huge money sink....if this was a private enterprise then we're operating at a loss.

    If the USA really cares about freeing nations from oppressive regimes, why does it ally with Pakistan? Why has it made no effort to invade a nation like Zimbabwe and oust Robert Mugabe? Simple - Zimbabwe has no resources America wants to control. If it's not to their benefit to do it, they won't.

    We've allied with Pakistan because we want to defeat the Taliban, and so do they (well, they're kinda half-hearted about it but that's another story). What are we supposed to do, not work with them? Pakistan is also "sorta" a democracy....I do believe their last elections were fair IIRC so we're there with the consent of their elected government. And we haven't invaded Zimbabwe because Mugabe's not a threat to us, and because attempting regime change would probably make things worse.
  13. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    So "He's not a threat"? Ok, but what happened to the America that is the crusader for the freedom of all people and wants to save the world from Tyranny? Only doing it when it actually is a bother to you is not being a fighter for freedom and justice as America likes to portray itself to the rest of the world.

    World War 2 was the same. Never mind that European allies and Britain were struggling against a powerful opposition and requested help. Never mind that those you claim to be friends with and value highly were likely to be conquered by a powerful regime, it didn't interest America to intervene and help out for the good of Europe because they didn't think Hitler could bother them.
    If our current PM doesn't turn out to be as much of a spineless lapdog to Obama as Tony Blair was to Bush, maybe we'll leave America high and dry when they want our help next time.
  14. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Well so much for that "special relationship."

    This country was very different at the start of WW2, and the American people had no intention of beinga "crusader for freedom and savior from Tyranny." And even when we went to far with Bush, our is a country that like every other country can only afford to do things that it sees as being in our interests. I get that after living in a world so dominated by our country you would welcome a change, but you clearly have blinders against all the good things we have done, and you have far more in common with us than you will with the Chinese.

    No we aren't perfect and we've made mistakes. How about we go back and rehash Colonialism? The way we have acted as a global superpower was in many ways to replace the role of Britain. We're still dealing with the mess you helped make in Iran.

    The idea that we went to war in Iraq and Afghanistan for monetary gain is laughable considering our losses. Nobody in America today believes any of the money we are still spending will ever come back to us, if what you say is true we'd have left it a mess a long time ago.
  15. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    I find this idea that the war was for money interesting, because it's usually refuted with 'we're losing money'. Sure, the American taxpayer undoubtedly is. Those that pushed for the war however ... are making quite a lot of money of it. Nobody said the American people as a whole were going to profit, if they did, that would indeed be a strange way of looking at it. =)
  16. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    It is one thing to claim "AMERICA" as a nation is starting wars to profit, and other to claim that a small group of elites is starting wars for profit. The whole tenor of his post was an indictment against AMERICA and its people. The general population who supported the war did not do so for any monetary gain, nor did the soldiers who risked their lives.

    This debate has largely been about the character of the two nations, and which you would prefer. In most cases what has been good for America has been good for the world. Obviously there are a lot of cases where that isn't true, but in the grand scheme of things, the best parts of our economic and political system have done a lot of good. China is only where it is today by adopting Capitalism over Communism as economic policy. If the Soviets had seen the collapse of the US, where would China be today? Who would they have been able to export to?

    The rise of China is not something to be cheered as a better force to replace America. There is some natural resentment after being in so dominant a position for so long, but on the whole we've done more good that bad. We're tiring of the thankless job of global policeman, and it is frankly amusing to watch the neighborhood wish for a replace in the guy that beats his kids. Well we'll just lock our doors and laugh when you give him the gun.
  17. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    Hmm, you kind of go off the rails at the end of the post there. I don't see why China should in any way become the globally dominant player, but neither do I see the U.S. as being the 'world's policeman' or doing actual 'good' in that process. I know it's very convenient to place this entire debate in a binary perspective, but it does no good to anyone and doesn't clarify the situation as it stands. The larger character of the nation? I don't even believe in 'national character' as such, I believe that phrases like 'what's good for America' are a total lie, because you're talking about 'what's good for certain parts of the upper classes' in America & selected other nations, not what's good for the people in America or those other nations as a whole. Besides, why are you all so quick to discount the rise of the South American political classes in the global political range? The consolidation of the European Union as a global player? The resurgent Russian role on the global stage?

    If America is no longer the dominant force, this must somehow, inevitably fall to China? That's a false debate. Not to mention that nation states as such no longer wield any dominant force in the structure of international relations, it's increasingly going to a cosmopolitan elite that has absolutely no real allegiance to the 'people' & the masses that are going to be screwed whether their ID says American or Indian or Italian.

    ...and as I added in the other thread, this whining about being the global policeman is something you inherited from the British Empire & is no more true today than it was in 1890. Besides, the police, are after all, supposed to respect the law. Ratified the ICC treaties yet?
  18. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    There are other means for promoting democracy besides war, and those ought to be explored first. Even when dealing with an intransigent regime, it's not always worth going to war when waiting things out may lead to eventual improvement. Not to mention, what would it look like if America were to send troops into Zimbabwe or Thailand to fix things? Even Iran's Green Movement doesn't want to be associated with us because they know that foreigners are distrusted by their countrymen.

    If it makes you feel better, FDR supported Britain even before the U.S. got involved, and I agree with his decision. If it wasn't for public opinion he would have gotten involved sooner....in fact when we did get involved, we adopted a Europe First policy even though it was Japan who attacked us and not Germany. Hitler was a threat; Mugabe does not have legions of tanks and airplanes steamrolling through most of Africa.
  19. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The best way to avoid a future war with China will be for the U.S. to cut its military spending drastically. If we started now by pulling out of Afghanistan, Iraq, western Europe, Korea, reduce the number of carrier strike groups from 11 to zero, maintain a large enough domestic military to protect our borders and maintain a submarine-based nuclear deterrent that will remain our only form of power projection outside North America.

    If we did this now, decided to not prepare ourselves, or retain the military capability to fight a war with China, we would put the U.S. in an immensely better economic position for the remainder of the 21st century. We would be unable to look like a military threat to Chinese territorial interests and would have to content ourselves to fighting economic proxy wars with them in Africa and the Middle East for access to resources, which we would of course lose.

    Proactive disarmament and military isolationism is the only route for success I see open to us. Orderly withdrawal from the world stage militarily, or chaotic retreat through economic stagnation. It will be one or the other.
  20. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    China 2011 net coal imports to surge 63 pct -Citi

    These are jaw-dropping numbers. First, where is China going to get all this coal? The easy answer is they will just outbid everyone else, so the real question is, "where are all the other major coal importers going to get all their coal next year when China sweeps up all available resources?"

    Second, given these numbers I have to breath a sigh of relief yet again that human-induced climate change is nothing but a damn liberal lie.

    And coming in 2012: China outbids the developing world for food. Sorry Bangladesh. No carbohydrates for you.
  21. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    What better time to start investing more in renewable cleaner energy that isn't finite and won't cost so much? Let China take the coal, once it runs out they'll look stupid and the west can laugh at them.

    No
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    But China is doing all that too. They are putting billions into renewable energy research and development, billions into alternative energy projects, billions into nuclear power along with the dramatic growth in coal.

    Countries like Great Britain that are backed against the wall with their fossil fuel supplies (oil and natural gas) are moving into alternative energy as a matter of desperation. The U.S. unfortunately isn't recognizing the desperation and isn't doing nearly enough to avoid getting itself caught in an energy crisis. On the one hand, environmental groups protest any building out of coal, and on the other hand, Obama's approach to alternative energy is scattershot, in part aimed in the wrong direction, and badly underfunded. We need a comprehensive national energy plan. I'm not saying we should be emulating the Chinese in coal consumption, but in our strategic approach to energy resources: absolutely.

    Energy is the economy. Energy is civilization. If we become world energy leaders we will remain world economic leaders. If we cede the energy game to China the way we ceded manufacturing for export, we will become a second rate nation within a generation.
  23. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    You don't have to be a world leader to be a great nation. The UK hasn't been the big cheese for a long time, doesn't bother us that much, we're still a big world player.

    The UK has invested a lot in renwable energy, but not very efficiently. Wind Power is impractical, espensive and unreliable. We should be looking more into tidal and wave power seeing as we are an island.
  24. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Countries that can successfully latch onto a bigger and more powerful nation like the U.S. or political/economic entity like the EU can certainly do alright. DarthBoba I thought had a decent argument yesterday that the U.S. has a future as China's junior economic partner. As their energy consumption and GDP outstrip ours, their military spending will outstrip ours as well and it would certainly be helpful to us if we could latch onto their coattails for a more secure future.

    Definitionally, the U.S. will be China's junior economic partner no later than 2012 when its GDP passes the U.S. In ten short years, China will produce nearly a quarter of the world's output if trends continue (the U.S. will be at 14%).

    The U.S. peaked at nearly a third of global economic output decades ago and has been in relative decline ever since. The most recent WikiLeaks revealed the extent to which the momentum has shifted from economic relative decline to relative decline in geopolitical influence in the last decade. When China overtakes us as the largest global economy, our economic decline will begin to translate into military decline.

    As of 2012 and increasingly into the next decade, we will become more and more vulnerable for exactly the reverse of what Reagan did to the Soviet Union. China will be able to spend us into bankruptcy on an arms race if it chooses to do so. And China can do this even as it holds onto us as a junior economic partner.
  25. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    China have a big army because they have a big population, but a massive army that lacks discipline or sufficient tech will not be sure of victory. The US has the best military hardware and the most firepower, so even with China having more soldiers and money, the US will still be called upon in times of conflict.

    I don't see the big deal either way, so what if you don't have the best military? The UK used to have the best navy in the world and now can't even afford planes for its aircraft carriers. We manage, we have European allies who can use our tech and will send out planes if we need them.