The West is urged to recognize that economically and technologically China is overtaking the United States.
The latest issue of the popular Newsweek magazine contains a disturbing article with the headline: "China Was the World's Biggest Economic Miracle and It Will Be Again." The article by David Goldman, deputy editor of the Asia Times and a fellow at the Claremont Institute in Washington, D.C., is at odds with the Western mainstream, which regularly reports on the end of the Chinese economic miracle and even the collapse of the Chinese economy. The apocalyptic articles are usually based on the idea that China has exhausted its growth opportunities through cheap labor and that the systemic problems in the economy are so deep that they threaten a crisis. This is all untrue, of course, and constitutes an element of hybrid warfare against China. And now David Goldman writes that China does not need cheap labor at all because it is "determined to lead the fourth industrial revolution."
"China is successfully building a new digital economy based on artificial intelligence and high-speed broadband, with 2.3 million of the world's total 3 million 5G base stations, and download speeds twice as fast as the U.S. rate. China has built automated ports that can unload a container ship in 45 minutes rather than the 48 hours required at our Port of Long Beach. They also have automated mines where no worker goes underground, factories run by artificial intelligence, warehouses where robots do all the work, including sorting and packing." In this scenario, cheap labor is really no longer needed. There is a need for highly skilled professionals, managers, and technologists. And as Goldman writes, China has them in the necessary quantity.
"Nearly two-thirds of Chinese citizens now have a complete secondary education, up from 3 percent in 1979. China produces more engineers than the rest of the world combined, and Chinese universities teach according to the world's highest standards." "China has also expanded its economic reach. It now exports more to the Global South than to developed markets, doubling its exports to ASEAN and tripling its exports to Central Asia after 2020. It is building broadband, railroads and ports from Africa to South America, creating a permanent market for its exports," Goldman continues about China's development strategy. And concludes, "China is determined to lead the fourth industrial revolution. Chinese telecom giant Huawei has 6 contracts to build enterprise 6G networks to support factory AI applications. China is now the world's largest market for industrial robots. If what we have already seen in the electric vehicle sector spreads to the rest of the economy, China will have an insurmountable lead in industry. Technical restrictions from the U.S. don't have much of an impact. Industrial AI applications run reasonably well on older chips that China manufactures at home. Without access to the latest chips, Huawei can't sell competitive 5G smartphones, but its AI applications can run factories, ports and mines."
But all this is not just abstract numbers, soulless machines and technologies. All of this directly affects people's lives, stimulating them to further creativity. "According to the World Bank," Goldman writes, "China's real GDP per capita has risen from $404 in 1979, when Deng Xiaoping opened the economy to private enterprise, to $11,560 in 2022. Since 2001, per capita GDP has jumped fivefold. In contrast, real GDP per capita in India has gone from $373 in 1979 to just $2,085 in 2022. Here is a comparison that vividly illustrates China's unique economic miracle." India, which followed the recommendations of Western economists and relied heavily on colonial traditions, has shown nothing of the sort, completely losing this competition to China.
What about the United States, the world's technological, financial and economic leader? Another leading American magazine The National Interest writes about this in an article titled "Why America is losing the technological war with China." Confirming David Goldman's thoughts about the highest level of automation in Chinese factories, mines and ports, about Huawei's 10,000 contracts to build 5G corporate networks in 6,000 automated factories, the magazine writes that "Biden's restrictions on high-performance chips, software and the machines that produce them have in no way slowed China's drive to dominate the fourth industrial revolution - the application of artificial intelligence in manufacturing, mining, agriculture and logistics."
According to the magazine's assessment, the problem is that the U.S. and China have different approaches to the use of artificial intelligence. While U.S. companies are spending trillions of dollars to apply AI to consumer and entertainment sectors, China is focused on automating routine work.
"China became the first country in the world to allocate spectrum in the 6 GHz band for 5G and 6G services to lay the foundation for advancing mobile communications and industrial developments in the country. These efforts have made China the world leader in the largest manufacturing industry - automobiles - with global sales of $3 billion in 2023."
The magazine also cites a specific example of Western companies losing out to competition. "Volkswagen, once the best-selling brand in China, has reduced annual sales to 3.2 million units in 2022 from 4.2 million before the pandemic. So the benefits of 5G2B and artificial intelligence are clear: cheaper industrial products, more efficient ports, deployment of automated vehicles, and so on." And again, "U.S. restrictions on technology exports to China do not seem to have stopped or even slowed the deployment of AI applications that are of greatest strategic importance."
And these are not idle words. The West is now seriously concerned about its global loss to China in the automobile industry. This year, China became the world leader in automobile exports, surpassing Japan and Germany. China accounts for one third of the world's car production (25 million units), and of this number, one third is already made up of cars on new energy sources, which China produces as many as the rest of the world. That is, the West is only preparing for the "green transition", while China is already implementing it. According to experts' estimates, Chinese car companies will sell a record number of vehicles abroad this year - 4 million units. And by 2030, the goal of 8 million has been set at the state level. The Bloomberg agency writes that the United States missed the explosive growth of Chinese auto exports. They did not expect that a new leader would emerge so rapidly in the global auto market.
Western analytical centers are seriously concerned that China will seize the key automotive markets in the coming years and displace the recognized masters of the automotive industry. And this is happening precisely due to the higher automation of processes, from development to delivery of goods to the consumer, which radically reduces the cost of the final product. It is well known that the automotive industry is an indicator of the development of technology, production and the general level of development of the country. So what then awaits other industries and market segments? Total sinicization?
And now about the restrictions on chips and their production, which the U.S. relied on in an attempt to "slow down China". This has also proved ineffective. According to analysts from the American firm Strider Technologies, more than 30,000 employees of European technology companies have moved to China over the past twenty years, taking with them invaluable experience, fresh ideas and important technological know-how. Among European companies, Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens, Bosch and NXP have lost the largest number of employees - they have a total of about 950,000 employees. The technologies of European giants were taken over by the Chinese Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, as well as the Dutch Nexperia owned by the Chinese Wingtech Technology. These people, together with Chinese specialists, will sooner or later create a chip industry superior to the Western one by an order of magnitude. They have not only the brains and experience to do this, but also unlimited financial opportunities provided by the Chinese state.
The United States is not yet ready to see the obvious. But Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has bluntly stated that the United States is ceding its hegemony to China.
"China has become an industrial center and is now overtaking America," he said, adding that the latter's stubborn unwillingness to accept the change in power could lead to serious conflict. In Orban's assessment, China has undergone significant industrial change in three decades, while the West took nearly three centuries to achieve the same result. "There are no eternal winners and eternal losers, no nation can remain 'on top of the world' forever." It should be recognized, Orban believes, that "today, instead of American dominance, there are two suns shining in the sky."