U.S. grows more dependent on China
The scientists at the National University of Defense Technology in Changsha, China, have developed a supercomputer that could perform more than a quadrillion calculations per second. The announcement in November had symbolic value: With their new computer, dubbed “Tianhe” (“Milky Way”), the Chinese claim they will be the first country to become a direct rival to the U.S .
China’s economy grew by an impressive 9% in the third quarter, while the economies of the West struggle to recover from a deep recession. While Americans are focused on their own problems, China is expanding its influence, both in Asia and among resource-rich African countries.
In an article in the party organ of the People’s Liberation Army, Air Force General Xu Qiliang announced China’s plans to expense its defense capabilities deep into space in the future. By the mid-21st century, the general predicted, the People’s Republic will have become a world power, and its air force will be required to defend the country against many kinds of threats.
Thirty years after the China and the U.S. established diplomatic relations, the bilateral balance is now shifting in China’s favor. President Barack Obama describes his foreign policy as a new age of cooperation, according to ABC News. He is seeking to develop a relationship with a Chinese leadership that he needs more than it needs him. About two-thirds of China’s foreign currency reserves are denominated in dollars. Any abrupt shift on the part of Beijing would threaten the stability of the U.S. currency. Cheap imported Chinese goods help push up the American standard of living and minimize the risks of inflation.
Washington has been particularly enthusiastic about China’s economic stimulus programs: the Chinese launched the world’s biggest investment program after the start of the financial crisis. Without their spirited course of action, the world economy could very well have imploded. Beijing’s stimulus program amounted to about 13% of Chinese gross domestic product, making it almost twice as large as the U.S. program and close to five times the size of its German equivalent.
Meanwhile, Americans see Europe moving from the passenger’s seat to the back seat in terms of the U.S.’s international partners. “The relationship between the United States and China will shape the 21st century,” said Obama recently.