CHINA VS AMERICA — THE BATTLE FOR SUPERPOWER
Gone are those days When the United States of America and the USSR locked horns against each other. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Cold War between these two nations came to an end and from then on, the USA had been adjudged as the prime superpower nation for nearly three decades now. Having said that, things are looking to change in the next few years and the contender for the superpower race is not from Europe or any American continent but it is from Asia.
‘When China awakes, it will shake the world’ — Napolean Bonaparte.
Well, that’s the quote which might become true, very soon. Superpower is characterized as a nation that has world dominance over others in the cultural, economic, military, and political realms, and China, whose Communist Party has witnessed its 71st anniversary recently, is rising as a potential contender. In December 2019, as the coronavirus originated, China responded rapidly and aggressively to stop it in its tracks. China imposed rigorous limitations on its people’s rights to fly internationally. Fiscal initiatives and stimulus packages have been the most frequent approach from Western countries to the pandemic, although China’s strict response to the pandemic, resides in its capacity to tighten people’s liberties and, as a response, the economy.
Its unified government has a potential that stretches beyond other western democracies, helping it to behave efficiently and execute policies well. On all aspects, China has capitalized. Concerning the effect of the outbreak on the global economy, there is no lack of scrutiny on oil price volatility, reduced farm production, falling exports, and unemployment estimates. The COVID-19 pandemic has also proven dangerous to the country’s economy. Despite China losing recent trade skirmishes against the US, the COVID-19 may be the final major drive that catapults the Chinese economy into an uncontested second place as a global superpower.
Now, let’s take a look at the status of the current superpower, the USA. The slow response of the government, lacking competence, allowed the coronavirus to acquire a foothold. Chronic underfunding in public health has neutered the nation’s capacity to deter the transmission of the virus. In terms of its epochal consequences, COVID‐19 is merely a manifestation of worse plagues to come. The U.S. cannot brace for these imminent disasters if it returns to normal, as many of its citizens do. With over 24 million US citizens being affected and over 400K dead, the US (as of January 2021) has been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The central aspect of the United States in this modern age is the practice of erratic, non-existent, and/or revolting leadership, as evidenced by Trump’s proposals to counteract the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 330 million population of the United States, over 50 million have lost their jobs since March 2020.
Four years ago, Donald Trump appeared in front of the Capitol building to be sworn in and vowed to bring an end to “American carnage.” His tenure concluded with him, as a sitting president, inviting his supporters to march to Capitol, and he had the things turned to cruelty. There is no question that Mr. Trump is the leader of this brutal assault on the core of American democracy. With Trump stepping down, Mr. Biden is facing major issues that are to be given extreme importance, from healthcare to unemployment. When all these things going on in the USA, at the same time, China has accelerated the productivity and the economic gains that have been achieved are greater, since the beginning of the new millennium. These gains have been achieved by the massive expansion of infrastructure and international investment, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, by China. It is now the fastest-growing economy in terms of purchasing power parity since 2014, though it’s still behind the US GDP, as per statistics from the World Bank.
What is contributing to the Chinese economy as a consequence of Coronavirus, is not a crumbling economy or a downturn in domestic and international demand. Factories and markets have been opened up ahead of other countries; and as a result, China would not be impacted as severely as the United States. The US economy is much more focused on the service sector — shopping centers, restaurants, hotels, etc. — than China, and it is this sector that is more influenced by social distancing initiatives. China is further advantaged by the scale of its agriculture industry, which is ten times greater than that of the United States, and the market is much less influenced by social distancing. The pandemic would also have a much greater effect on the world’s greatest economic force than its top contender.
To summarize, the United States has the Government Performance and Result Act and the Modernization Act, but they still do not have a robust, outcome-based, and resource-restricted strategy for their nation, but China does. China has a long-term strategy. The U.S. does not have such policies, they deem their strategy to be a one-year plan, and they are not doing a really good job with it. So this is about leadership. It is about the processes. The reality is that the US government has become too outsized to implement stringent policies successfully. It offered a myriad of things and they have lost their sight of the expenditure.
The US would continue to undergo significant adjustments to remain a superpower and make sure that its potential is greater than its history. Meanwhile, China wants ‘global support’ to become a force that it lacks in the current political environment. It is real that China is making big strides in the globalization process, with booming technology and economic developments. Yet, its international status and domestic problems seem to signify that it is not yet equipped for world dominance. Can you bet on China as the next super-power in the world?