CHH Politics: US must keep up with a modernizing China

Keaton Brownstead

With all the hysteria going on about China’s boom, you’d think we better start learning Mandarin.  It seems everything we own is stamped with “Made in China,” and the news is screaming about China owning all our debt. There’s even talk of an inevitable war with China. This is all folly and here’s why:

First, the U.S. is the world’s production leader, making a whopping 21 percent of global manufacturing products. China is in a far second at 15 percent. Also, China only holds 8 percent of publicly owned U.S. debt. Finally, the opportunity cost of going to war with China is astounding, considering how busy we are making money off each other via trade.

China’s recent growth is mainly due to its emergence into modernity: freeing up their markets, expanding education and trading more with others. In other words, things we’ve always done. 

Not all is well with China, however. The artificial devaluation of their currency is, for lack of better words, cheating in the global market. With a devalued currency, their goods are cheaper. This hurts others ability to compete as well as their own citizens’ standard of living. 

In reaction to this, President Barack Obama stated his disapproval of their policy but proceeded to do no more. We need to hold China to higher standards, both for our sake and for its. We have much to gain from a president who will not let China cheat. Our exported goods from China will generate more profit; our imported goods will be cheaper.

As China continues to modernize, business with them will become more of a necessity for us both. Standing up to them now is part of laying the framework for a mutually beneficial partnership in the long run.