gros141_Thomas Peter-PoolGetty Images_US china Thomas Peter/Pool/Getty Images

The US Must Accept China’s Rise

The US is haunted by the specter of a technologically dominant China – and keen to ensure it never materializes. And yet, given China’s fundamentals, there is little the US could do to hamper, let alone arrest, its progress.

BERLIN – Elections tend to bring differences to the fore. That is certainly true of the United States’ recent presidential election, in which votes are still being tallied. Among the most bitterly contested elections in the country’s history, the outcome will have profound implications for many aspects of US policy. And yet there is one issue on which both parties seem to agree: the need to “stop” China.

The US government – and, increasingly, the European Commission – now largely believes that China has secured its economic and technological gains unfairly, thanks to its government’s pervasive influence over the economy. Geostrategists often push this view, imagining that a government can achieve technological superiority by investing in the fashionable sectors of the day.

But a more thorough analysis shows this to be misleading, at best. The most “successful” grand economic-development plans usually go with the grain, focusing largely on targets that, given the economy’s fundamentals, would be achieved anyway. Crediting state intervention when those targets are met is thus inappropriate.

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