China Closes the Innovation Gap

While the U.S. expands spending on wars and “regime changes” – and slashes its budget for science and infrastructure – China is making different choices, now rapidly closing the gap on scientific innovation, writes John V. Walsh.

By John V. Walsh

The headline reads, “The Rapid Rise of a Research Nation: China’s economic boom is mirrored by its similarly meteoric rise in high quality science.” This was not a headline in People’s Daily or China Daily but in the most prestigious of Western scientific publications, Nature.

The 38 pages, which follow that headline in a special Supplement to the journal Nature, tell us that China is now second in the world in high quality science publications and growing fast. This certainly contradicts the Western, dare I say racist, stereotype of the hardworking, but unimaginative, Asian drudge, dutifully churning out mounds of low-quality work.

The Flag of China

The Flag of China

But how can we know that claim about China is true? Are we dealing here with release of data by the Chinese government, which, again according to Western stereotype, produces little but fabrications? (This writer has not found that to be the case, but there is merit in using sources that are immune to Western prejudices.)

Before considering the evidence for Nature’s claim of high quality Chinese science, we should ask of what significance is it to the layman? Just this, as the U.S. continues its belligerent “pivot to Asia,” which has been designed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and the foreign policy Elite to confront China, we should know what our leaders are getting us into.

Two pillars of a country’s power (supporting the hard, soft and military varieties) are its economy and its technology. Since late in 2014 China has been the world’s largest economy according to the International Monetary Fund, using the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) metric.  It continues to grow at about 7 percent – or “only” 7 percent as the Western media are fond of telling us although no Western nation comes near that rate of growth.

Now China appears to be on the cusp of becoming the world’s foremost Research and Development (R&D) engine. And that pushes the Chinese economy forward even more rapidly, for technology and science are the driving forces for modern economic development.

We would do well to remember that the last time that the U.S. confronted China directly in armed conflict was the Korean War. When the U.S., using the United Nations as cover, advanced all the way to the border with China, the Yalu river, China entered the war and the U.S. was driven back south to the 38th parallel. The result was restoration of the status quo ante bellum, with Korea divided in the way it remains to this day. At that time China was weak and backward; now it is strong and advanced.

Historical Domination

In a broader historical context, for the last 500 years the West has been in the dirty business of invading and colonizing the rest of the planet. This process continues today in the form of neocolonialism, most recently with U.S. wars, “regime change” ops and sanctions aimed at resisting nations.

In this entire 500-year period, the West has always enjoyed technological superiority in such encounters, and that has been one of the keys to its success at domination. Some would say that technology was the key to subjugation of the planet by the West.

China and its neighbors

China and its neighbors

We can envisage the Toledo steel armor and swords of the original conquistadores from 1492 onward to the titanic aircraft carriers of the U.S. lumbering around the South China Sea today. But the advance of science and technology in China means that this will not long remain the case. In fact that day may have passed already for all practical purposes.

So we would be well advised to know what sort of predicament our Elite are creating for us with their “pivot to Asia.”

Let us turn to the evidence. How do we know with a high level of confidence that China has succeeded so impressively in its science and technology? The information comes from Nature Index (NatureIndex.com), a product of the journal Nature. Perhaps relatively few laymen are aware of Nature, but virtually every working scientist regards it as one of the most outstanding of scientific publications, a reputation well deserved.

As but one example, the original paper by Watson and Crick on the double helical structure of DNA, along with the paper, by Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin, providing the data that led to the Watson-Crick structure, appeared in Nature.

Nature is published by Elsevier, which has been around for a good long time. Elsevier, headquartered in the Netherlands at the time, published Galileo’s “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems” smuggled out of Italy to escape Vatican suppression while Galileo was under house arrest. Descartes was also published by Elsevier. The list goes on over the centuries.

Measuring Progress

Now dear reader, you will have to bear with me for a few brief paragraphs to describe how NatureIndex makes the determination of quality in science. It is all spelled out in great detail at NatureIndex.com. NatureIndex is built on a database of all the original articles published in 68 of the highest quality scientific journals in the world listed here. The selection of those journals is done by a group of prominent active research scientists listed here. All the selected journals are based in the West as are all but a handful of the selecting scientists.

In a given year at the moment approximately 60,000 original articles appear in these journals. Each author of the 60,000 papers is given a score based on the number of these articles to which he or she has made a contribution. This number is called the Fractional Index (FC). For technical reasons the FC has to be weighted for certain disciplines giving rise to another number, the Weighted Fractional Index (WFC) for each scientist.

Modern buildings in China's Tianjir Economic Technological Development Area in Tianjin, China. (Photo credit: Alexander Needham)

Modern buildings in China’s Tianjir Economic Technological Development Area in Tianjin, China. (Photo credit: Alexander Needham)

Add up the WFC’s for all the scientists in China appearing in the list of contributors in a given year and you have the WFC for the nation of China. The same can be done for any other country. It is as simple as that.

Basically the WFC is a metric for quality because the journals chosen to be part of the Index are those that publish the very best science as best as it can be determined at the moment. Publication of a paper in these journals is a highly competitive business, and every scientist wants to publish his or her best work in them.

The WFC is no bureaucratic or governmental measure. Each article that appears has been reviewed and accepted, usually by at least three scientists acting completely independently, and in fact not even knowing who their fellow reviewers of a given manuscript are. That means we have at least 180,000 independent reviews per year.

And then there are the many more articles rejected by these reviewing scientists. That means the WFC for the countries surveyed is determined by hundreds of thousands of independent reviews each year! They all act independently of one another. Adam Smith would love the model.

This author has been involved for a lifetime in such scientific reviews, as both reviewer and reviewed. The reviews are generally tough, honest and mostly fair. And in general the more prestigious the publication, the more demanding the review.

Again the bottom line is the WFC for each of the countries surveyed. The higher the WFC, the higher the quality of the country’s total output. For the 12 months of 2015 the U.S. had the number one WFC by far. But second was China. (The order of the top 20 is: U.S., China, Germany, UK, Japan, France, Canada, Switzerland, South Korea, Italy, Spain, Australia, India, Netherlands, Israel, Sweden, Singapore, Taiwan, Russia, Belgium.)

Nature magazine began analyzing China’s output in 2012 and it recently (December, 2015) published a hard copy Supplement summarizing the Index in which the WFC for China for the period 2012 to 2014 was assessed. There is much of interest in the 38 pages of this Supplement.   It contains evaluations of the science by region, institution (which includes both academia and corporations) and city. The awe of those who prepared the supplement for the advances in Chinese science is palpable in the Supplement.

Changing Places

For those interested in comparisons, as we should well be if we wish to know accurately our place in the world, the following paragraph from the NatureIndex Supplement is striking: “But what sets China apart is its WFC. While China’s contribution (to the global total) grew 37% from 2012 through 2014, the United States saw a 4% drop over the same period.”

That paragraph should be read and reread by those who would dismiss the development of China as “merely” quantitative or completely fake.

Moreover, the decline in the WFC of the U.S. comes as no surprise to researchers in the U.S., my colleagues, who have watched many laboratories close and talented investigators forced to quit as federal funding failed to keep pace with expenses. It is sad indeed to watch this tragedy unfold, with all the attendant waste of talent, training and education.

To return to the Nature Index Supplement for China for 2012-2014, here are excerpts from the opening section, which convey much of the magnitude and significance of China’s accomplishment:

“China has ambitious plans to source as much as 15% of its energy from renewable resources by 2020, at the same time its economy is expected to slow (to 6.8 -7.0 percent per year. JW). It also aspires to be the next space superpower while facing major health and environment challenges, such as an ageing population and water shortages. (China also has set as a goal the total elimination of poverty and the creation of a ‘moderately prosperous society’ by 2020. JW)

“The Chinese government knows that surmounting these challenges while achieving its goals can only be accomplished through science. Indeed, China is pegging its future prosperity on a knowledge-based economy, underpinned by research and innovation. For a country that invented paper, gunpowder and the compass, such lofty ambitions could be realized. This year (2015) pharmacologist Tu Youyou became the first Chinese researcher to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for helping to discover a new drug for malaria that has saved millions of lives.”

This should be quite enough to convince the reader of the extent, rapidity and quality of science in China. But is there corroborative data for the Nature Index study? Yes, from our own U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF released an assessment of China’s R&D in January 2016 entitled: “U.S. science and technology leadership increasingly challenged by advances in Asia: China is now the second largest performer of research and development.”

China has invested heavily in modern transportation technology, including high-speed rail.

China has invested heavily in modern transportation technology, including high-speed rail.

This assessment is drawn from Science and Engineering Indicators, 2016, which is in turn produced by the National Science Board (NSB) a leadership body of the NSF whose 25 members are presidential appointees. The assessment is worth reading in full, but the bottom line is the following:

“According to Indicators 2016, China is now the second-largest performer of R&D, accounting for 20 percent of global R&D as compared to the United States, which accounts for 27 percent.”

That means of course that China now produces almost three-fourths as much R&D as the U.S., if we are to believe the NSF’s figures, and China’s output is growing fast. Here are some other quotes from the NSF assessment:

“Between 2003 and 2013, China ramped up its R&D investments at an average of 19.5 percent annually, greatly exceeding that of the U.S. China made its increases despite the Great Recession. (This last indicates to this writer a deep commitment to R&D.)

“China has also made significant strides in S&E (Science and Engineering) education, which is critical to supporting R&D as well as knowledge and technology-intensive industries. China is the world’s number-one producer of undergraduates with degrees in science and engineering. These fields account for 49 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in China, compared to 33 percent of all bachelor’s degrees the U.S. awards.

“In 2012, students in China earned about 23 percent of the world’s 6 million first University degrees in S&E. Students in the European Union earned about 12 percent and those in the U.S. accounted for about 9 percent of these degrees. (Note that China is now producing more undergraduate degrees in S&E than the U.S. and the European Union combined, i.e., more than the entire “West.” jw)

“The number of S&E graduate degrees awarded in China is also increasing. However, the U.S. continues to award the largest number of S&E doctorates and remains the destination of choice for internationally mobile students.” (But with the enormous numbers of undergraduate S&E degrees awarded in China, it would seem to be only a matter of time before graduate degrees follow. jw)

U.S. Retrenchment

Now let us see what the NSF has to say about the growth rate of R&D in the U.S., something it knows probably better than anyone else. Again we quote:

“Federal investment in both academic and business sector R&D has declined in recent years, reflecting the effects of the end of the investments of ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), the advent of the Budget Control Act, and increased pressure on the discretionary portion of the federal budget.

“Since the Great Recession, substantial, real R&D growth annually — ahead of the pace of U.S. GDP — has not returned. Inflation-adjusted growth in total U.S. R&D averaged only 0.8 percent annually over the 2008-13 period, behind the 1.2 percent annual average for U.S. GDP.

” ‘Decreased federal investment is negatively impacting our nation’s research universities,’ said Kelvin Droegemeier, NSB vice chair and vice president for research at the University of Oklahoma. ‘Our universities conduct 51 percent of the nation’s basic research and train the next generation of STEM-capable workers. Federal support is essential to developing the new knowledge and human capital that allows the U.S. to innovate and be at the forefront of S&T.’”

I would pull from this quotation one phrase that is of special significance for the decline in federal funding for R&D, to wit “increased pressure on the discretionary portion of the federal budget.” Discretionary spending excludes earned benefits, principally Social Security and Medicare which are in the non-discretionary category.

Do I have to tell readers that the biggest portion of the federal discretionary budget is the Pentagon? According to OMB the military consumed 55 percent of the federal discretionary budget in 2015 whereas science got 3 percent!! “International Affairs” also received 3 percent. In other words, the U.S. is building -and using – vast amounts of instruments of destruction while China is building up its scientific and technical enterprise.

I have outlined the facts and evidence for China’s great leap forward in science and technology. In the light of China’s impressive record in both economic development and in R&D, should the U.S. not terminate its bellicose pivot to the Western Pacific and seek a peaceful win-win relationship with China?

The reality reviewed here suggests that confrontation with China belongs to the colonial and neocolonial past, which for China ended decisively in 1949. The U.S. establishment must recognize that reality or court disaster for America and the world.

Correction:  Nature is published by Nature Publishing Group, not Elsevier as stated.  The Nature Index data base, however, includes prominent journals published by Elsevier.  The essential point is that Nature is one of most prestigious publications in the world and many would rank it as number one.  Details on the rather complicated pyramid of publishing entities responsible for Nature nowadays can be found here.

John V. Walsh is a frequent contributor to CounterPunch.com, Antiwar.com, LewRockwell.com and DissidentVoice.org. He is a founding member of “Come Home America.” Until recently he was Professor of Physiology and Neuroscience at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  He can be reached at john.endwar@gmail.com.

27 comments for “China Closes the Innovation Gap

  1. Secret Agent
    May 11, 2016 at 07:04

    Just came back from Shenzhen. It’s all true. The west is in denial.

  2. nexusxyz
    May 10, 2016 at 05:10

    China and other Asian countries will eclipse the West. China practices ‘centralised technology-planning’ whereas the US used to practice technology-planning after WW2. Then the US dominated all the world’s technologies, Now it dominates none. The US has dropped into ‘financial-planning’ which has hollowed out the US economy via the tyranny of the spreadsheet and the financial myopia of the MBA.

    The Chinese appear to be moving through a series of ‘waves’. The first of which was to relieve the US of its manufacturing base (done). The next wave was to build out infrastructure (still on-going). The next wave will be to create a range of new industries and become self-sufficient in a number of key industries (Chip manufacture for instance). All of this is to continue to drive Chinese competitiveness while at the same time US competitiveness continues to decline.

    Trying to understand China through the prism of Western financial-planning must be confusing.

  3. voxpax
    May 10, 2016 at 04:06

    No Comments? Sillary and Bumb get all the attention….good news for the rest of the world.

    • Zachary Smith
      May 10, 2016 at 10:41

      The forum still has a problem in that every new comment can disappear from view. Then it is frustrating for me to wonder WTH is going on. Sometimes I’m tempted to go back a couple of pages and post something like “Hi there” on an old thread just so the system recognizes me again.

  4. May 10, 2016 at 03:33

    Nature is not published by Elsevier.
    It’s published by Nature Research Group within Springer Nature.

    • John V. Walsh
      May 19, 2016 at 11:17

      Bob Edenbach is right. I stand corrected – as do several of my colleagues who made the same mistake when they looked this paper over.
      Nature is published by Nature Publishing Group. The Nature Index data base, however, includes prominent journals published by Elsevier. The essential point is that Nature is one of most prestigious publications in the world and many would rank it as number one. Details on the rather complicated pyramid of publishing entities responsible for Nature nowadays can be found here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_Publishing_Group

  5. Jacob
    May 9, 2016 at 21:29

    Is it just a coincidence that the religious right has come to the fore in American culture at the same time the nation is falling behind Asia in science? Americans seem overtaken by the mystical otherworldiness of Christianity, while turning away from materialist, scientific ways of thinking and dealing with real-world problems.

    • Secret Agent
      May 11, 2016 at 07:02

      Chris Hedges wrote a lot on how societies under duress engage in magical thinking and reverence for a heroic past.

      The born again movement has morphed into a bizzare cargo cult. Tune in and listen to what they have to say about wealth redistribution after the second coming.

  6. JWalters
    May 9, 2016 at 20:25

    Thanks for this excellent article. It’s a tragedy that vast profits enable predatory war profiteers to control the U.S. media and Congress, sabotaging the ideals and hopes of the country and humanity.

  7. Zachary Smith
    May 9, 2016 at 18:30

    Basically the WFC is a metric for quality because the journals chosen to be part of the Index are those that publish the very best science as best as it can be determined at the moment. Publication of a paper in these journals is a highly competitive business, and every scientist wants to publish his or her best work in them.

    The relationship between the numbers of people who read an article and its quality is one which eluded me. It may be a fact, but IMO the author failed to demonstrate it.

    There is no doubt China is publishing more. It’s also a fact that scholarly fraud over there is increasing by leaps and bounds.

    http://www.economist.com/news/china/21586845-flawed-system-judging-research-leading-academic-fraud-looks-good-paper/

    Do I have to tell readers that the biggest portion of the federal discretionary budget is the Pentagon? According to OMB the military consumed 55 percent of the federal discretionary budget in 2015 whereas science got 3 percent!! “International Affairs” also received 3 percent. In other words, the U.S. is building -and using – vast amounts of instruments of destruction while China is building up its scientific and technical enterprise.

    In my opinion Mr. Walsh misunderstands the Pentagon’s role in this. The joint has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Weapons Makers, and is the official ‘government’ mouthpiece for them. It’s also useful as a ‘lightning rod’ to deflect attention from the Big Weapons Scammers.

    If Mr. Walsh had a solution to the problem he outlined, I overlooked it.

    After a bit of thought, MY solution would be to throw some serious money at the US Public School systems. Clean them up, and double salaries. Make teaching a high-prestige job and learning from those teachers a rewarding challenge. Like, if you graduate and can pass a not-impossible “Super SAT”, you get four years of tuition money at any State University within an XX mile radius of where you live. Or the equivalent amount of money you’d have received there applicable at any other qualifying Universities where you can gain admission.

    • Oleg
      May 9, 2016 at 18:59

      I agree that all starts at schools. Specifically, the great majority of students in the West currently cannot really excel in exact sciences and engineering because they do not know their math. This is very simple. A great American scientist Josiah Gibbs once said, math is a language. It is a language of science. You do not know math – you cannot excel in science. Simple. As a result: I recently attended a scientific workshop on some aspects of materials science and nanotechnology. About 90% of the participants were Chinese. Oh, there were American-Chinese, including some from leading US universities and national labs, Canadian-Chinese, Chinese-Chinese, etc. But – still Chinese. I do not believe the quality of Chinese papers is all that great, although it did improve recently. But the quality of papers from everyone else has dropped significantly, so Chinese will soon be the only game in town. I actually cannot help but think what will happen should you in the US indeed get into some silly confrontation with China. Are there any Americans (not Chinese-Americans) left who know how your nuclear weapons actually work?

    • John V. Walsh
      May 19, 2016 at 11:07

      On Zachary Smith’s comments.
      First, on the question of fraud in China. Retractions are a measure of fraud often used. Guess who is number one in retractions? The U.S. is – Exceptional again. I am afraid that Zachary Smith has fallen victim to the tsunami of anti-China propaganda which includes the fraud meme.
      See:
      https://www.elsevier.com/connect/china-reigns-in-on-identity-fraud-over-concerns-of-author-reviewer-authenticity
      “According to research data published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS), which reviewed all 2,047 biomedical and life science research articles that were retracted by PubMed on May 3, 2012, countries that have a high publication volume tend to retract the most papers. The top three countries that have the most retractions are the U.S., Germany and Japan, making up about 70% of all retracted papers. China is ranked 4th.”
      The explanation is rather prosaic. The more publications, the more retractions. The percentage seems to be rather constant from country to country. (Of course retractions also represent mistakes as well as fraud.)
      One can easily produce anecdotes, as the Economist does sensationally in the article that Zachary references, but that tells us nothing about the system as a whole. Anecdotes are not data.

      And yes, in China and throughout the world quantity of publications plays a role in promotions and careers. But China has recognized this, as all scientific institutions around the world do, and has taken steps to remedy it. There has been quite a bit of public discussion of this in China in recent years!

      Finally fraud and quality of research are not the same topic. When one discusses high quality science in the US, one is not expected to also discuss fraud, but not so with China where it seems that there is a requirement in the West to rain on every Chinese parade.

      Second, I am afraid that Zachary Smith did not understand the Nature Index metric. It has nothing to do with how many scientists read a paper. Please read the explanation of it again, Zachary.

      Finally, my purpose in this piece was not to find a solution to the sorry misallocation of funds in the US, but to point out the increasingly sad state of affairs here vis a vis China. Many of the readers of this piece have excellent ideas about possible solutions, as shown in many of the comments.

  8. Ol' Hippy
    May 9, 2016 at 14:55

    The neocons are going to destroy the US by continuing military build up instead of spending here on important science we’ll need to survive the global warming crisis. I fail to see the endgame for all the increased hostility around the planet. Pull back fund r&d, medicine and infrastructure. The world would be a far better place if these actions had transpired 50 years ago. Let’s hope it’s not too late but with a hawk poised to win the administrative office, I feel it will be too late to effect meaningful change in time to avoid total collapse. Sorry.

    • Zachary Smith
      May 9, 2016 at 18:38

      The neocons are going to destroy the US by continuing military build up instead of spending here on important science we’ll need to survive the global warming crisis

      My research of the author strongly suggests he’s a global warming denier. (he was evidently a genuine scientist believing in that ‘Warming Pause’ BS.) If true, it wouldn’t be too surprising on account of his strong “Libertarian” leanings. All too often, with the ‘libs’ reality takes second place to doctrine.

    • Secret Agent
      May 11, 2016 at 06:57

      The end game is world government presided over by oligarchy. Oligarchs hate progress and they hate industry. In this they have allies with the Neo Bolshevik left and Whabbissm. If you think of it in these terms, what is happening in the west makes perfect sense. If it seems like treason, that’s because it is. Amazingly Alex Jones is closer to he truth than you think.

  9. Dr. Ip
    May 9, 2016 at 14:37

    The Republican party derides critical thinking, denies science fact and many of them believe the earth is 5000 years old. The Democrats channel money to Wall Street and the banks preparing for their post-government jobs as lobbyists and consultants to the financial industry. The members of the military who rise to command positions transfer out to armaments manufacturers and defense contractors to earn their six-figure yearly incomes (plus perks and shares). So who cares about science? It’s all about lining pockets and stockpiling nukes.
    For some reason I keep hearing: “We all live in a Yellow Submarine…” playing in the background as the psychedelic illusion of success is spread through the moribund media into the jellied brains of the passive American audience. Hey, the USA is still number one in propaganda effectiveness! Is that something to celebrate?

  10. Bob Van Noy
    May 9, 2016 at 13:51

    Well done Joe L. Your reply, I think, is at the very center of our neocon generated, inclination that the only reaction to their wrong geopolitical thinking is, War. If they really believed in American Exceptionalism; they would feel more comfortable in competing in their sacred Market Place. I think that the big secret is, that the neocons, are much more interested in maintaining their own status quo than anything specifically American.

    • Joe L.
      May 9, 2016 at 14:15

      Bob Van Noy… actually I believe that American exceptionalism, or exceptionalsim by the west, is really a large problem with how these wars can be sold. Even look at the way that the US, and the west, acts towards China. Even though it was US corporations that chose to move manufacturing to China it seems like it is always China’s fault for the loss of American jobs. When it comes to these wars, I believe they are sold to the US, and the people of the west, as acceptable because we are better than the people that we are attacking. We don’t care about “their” casualties or that we are the “invaders” or for the fact that we are “breaking international law” but instead the only people that matter are western lives. We have even seen recent examples of this when Paris or Brussels were attacked and there is constant news coverage along with a massive social media response meanwhile I believe at the same time as both of these attacks there were even larger attacks in Iraq and, I believe, Pakistan. I think it is well past time that we need to get over ourselves and our perception of being “superior” over the rest of the world. I actually see the western world as a dinosaur and if we refuse to evolve then we are going to be the losers in the multipolar world that I believe is developing. I want to live in a world where we learn to respect each other and our politicians act as “diplomats” instead of these reactionary puppets that start wars for corporate and geopolitical aims.

    • Peter Loeb
      May 11, 2016 at 10:32

      TO JOE L…RE THE AMERICAN DINOSAURUS REX….

      Wha wonders the high tech world hath brought (including this
      email!!!).

      Intel brought us the personal computer and recently announced
      that 11,000 people would lose their jobs. Intel did not invest
      in mobile communications…. While the stock market may rise,
      people lose jobs, hope and lives either in the US by suicide
      or abroad in suicide and killing….

      It’s a wonderful world.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Joe Wallace
      May 11, 2016 at 22:30

      Reply to Joe L.:

      Couldn’t agree more. Well put!

    • Joe L.
      May 12, 2016 at 12:56

      Peter Loeb & Joe Wallace… Thank you for your replies. I guess overall I believe that the world is out of balance though I do believe that it is rebalancing itself right now though our politicians would like to keep the world as it is with the Western world dominating the rest of the planet – hence why I see our way of thinking akin to the dinosaurs. I don’t believe that any country, or group of countries, should dominate this planet – it is a scary thought even though I am from the western world as a Canadian. The more that I look at what the US, Britain, France, or the western world in general has done to the rest of the world the more that I come to realize the lies and outright deception used to steal from the poorest nations on the planet meanwhile keeping resource rich nations populations poor. It is really sad to see the US, or the west, use things like NGO’s, which are really supposed to help people, subvert foreign governments for US, or western, corporate and geopolitical gains. Even look at the use of the IMF, again is supposed to help poor people, but instead seems to give huge loans to countries that are unable to pay them back and then they are pushed into privatizing their industry and resources for US, and western, corporations to gobble up meanwhile shipping that wealth out of the country which still keeps the people poor. I also believe that is why, especially in the US, that many politicians hate “socialism” because really it keeps resources out of the hands of corporations. Now I am not saying that everything should be socialized but I do believe that some things should not be sold off to foreign corporations – such as water (Bechtel in Bolivia), which I believe to be a human right. I also believe that if our countries are allowing large corporations to extract countless resources from our countries then there should be a kick-back to the people of that country such as paying for healthcare or education or any of a number of social programs. I believe this is what Chavez was doing and he was demonized for it because it kept resources out of the hands of western corporations.

      Overall though; when there are viable alternatives to our economic vehicles – IMF, World Bank, SWIFT etc.; will the rest of the world be as forgiving to us for all of the coups and underhandedness which kept them poor and drastically effected the quality of their lives. Should be interesting to see, sorry I might have rambled a little bit but I really believe the world needs to change to become a fairer world…

  11. Joe L.
    May 9, 2016 at 13:30

    For me, when it comes to China there is no doubt in my mind that it will also pass the US in nominal GDP somewhere in the 2020’s. It would be nice if the US could stop trying to impose itself everywhere and instead let China have a peaceful rise which could also benefit the US. How great for the world if the US and China worked together in space or research and development or any of a number of areas. Instead, I believe that the US wishes to fully implement the TPP, TTIP etc. where the US is the centre of both agreements to try to maintain hegemony. I think China is being very smart by largely using soft power to get what it wants. I remember watching a documentary where the interviewer was talking with men from Pakistan. They asked the men what they thought of the US and China. The men said something to the effect of that while the US uses bombs to try to get what it wants, China builds roads and infrastructure. There are just so many things happening in China, it is amazing. I also read about China having its’ own Silicon Valley and you just have to think, with a 1.3 Billion population, that if China concentrates on lifting these people out of poverty and provides top notch schooling that the sky is really the limit of what China will achieve (and its’ economy will grow with that). I also read that China leads the world in Green Technology. I just think that there is an opportunity for the west to work peacefully with China and it would benefit everyone – stop the militarism.

  12. Sally Snyder
    May 9, 2016 at 13:29

    Here is an article that looks at an economic crisis that China is exporting around the globe:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/03/chinas-overcapacity-problem.html

    The global trade agreements, particularly the 2001 agreement that saw China join the World Trade Organization, have resulted in a series of unintended consequences.

    • SFOMARCO
      May 10, 2016 at 02:04

      China has realized that it has an overcapacity problem and, furthermore, that it cannot continue to export its way to greater prosperity. In 2013 China announced it was going to relocate 200 million people from the countryside to urban areas to facilitate creation of a domestic consumer economy.

    • dahoit
      May 10, 2016 at 10:23

      The economic crisis is Zioneocapitalism,where we have shipped all our non military industry overseas,and China rightly,and logically seized.
      Its all suicide by the West,for Zion,and the banksters interests,as in cheap labor and higher stock profit.
      Blaming China is ridiculous.
      You want to see miracles,check out the Graun,and the Pearl river then and now photos.Unbelievable.

  13. Abe
    May 9, 2016 at 13:10

    At the very highest levels it is now clear that the Chinese regime of President Xi Jinping and his Prime Minister, Li Keqiang, who is also head of the State Council, have decided to make China a world leader in the highly controversial field of Genetically Manipulated Organisms or GMO and the related highly toxic (to humans) pesticides and herbicides. This was made clear in November when the Chinese state ChemChina announced it was seeking to buy the Anglo-Swiss pharmaceutical giant, Syngenta of Basel.

    China Plans to become GMO Giant
    By F. William Engdahl
    http://journal-neo.org/2016/05/08/china-plans-to-become-gmo-giant/

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