In response to the ‘Made in China 2025’ strategic plan, an ‘Invented and Made in America 2028’ scheme is jointly proposed by retired Navy Admiral (Commander-in-Chief of the US Pacific Command) Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence (Jan 2009 – May 2010) and currently the chairman of Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, and Robert D. Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).
Their proposal, which was published by The American Interest on Sep 17, argues that “China’s strategy is to aggressively support its companies as they seek out and capture global market share, weakening U.S. companies in the process … if the Chinese continue to advance, largely through unfair, predatory practices …”
Two earlier articles published by The Council on Foreign Relations also say something similar — “Why does everyone hate Made in China 2025?” on 28 March 2018 which includes a chart showing how other countries may be hurt by this 2025 vision (picture above), and “Is ‘Made in China 2025’ a Threat to Global Trade?” on 2 August 2018. Obviously, a stiff competition is taking place. Both sides will keep on criticizing each other this and that, unfair and predatory …… It is a salient sign that the mutual trust, which is essential for two trading parties making deals, has been deteriorating.
If combined with other relevant concerns in respect of China’s ‘Sharp Power’, ‘China’s Endgame’, ‘Thucydides Trap’ … etc, the ‘America 2028’ project indicates that the US-China confrontation has extended from the political and cultural spheres to the economic zone. Here, Professor John J. Mearsheimer, the leading theorist of Offensive Realism, has provided a highly insightful point regarding the economic race. He said, “… there is no practical way of slowing the Chinese economy without also damaging the American economy. One might argue that the Chinese economy would suffer greater damage, thus improving America’s relative power position vis-à-vis China at the same time Chinese growth was slackening. But that is likely to happen only if the United States can find new trading partners and China cannot. Both conditions are necessary…”
As the mastermind behind the latest National Security Strategy and National Defense Strategy of the United States (Mearsheimer’s 2014 terms describing China as the “top threat”, “competitor”, “revisionist power”, and “balancing coalition against China — think of India …” etc are the main themes in these two documents), Mearsheimer wisely suggests that the U.S. must create a situation wherein the American companies could expand the global market share at the expense of the Chinese.
How to do it? The above chart is a brilliant example of creating hate gaps between China and other nations. The final answer, furthermore, is promoting ‘invention’ here and obstructing ‘invention’ there. One recent move is Trump’s visa restrictions aiming at Chinese STEM students effective in June.
We are not just living with a trade war, but also a real fight encompassing a much wider spectrum.
The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.