Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States has dominated the world order. However, the coveted position may not remain unchallenged. China is the first economy to rebound after shutting down its economy in December and reported a surprisingly powerful 3.2 percent rise in the latest quarter. With their head-start on reopening, China may gain the tools necessary to surpass the US.
History shows a rocky US-China relationship. In 2009, the U.S. stance on China hardened dramatically: the U.S. sold arms to Taiwan despite knowing it would anger their Chinese counterparts. The rapport worsened with President Trump, as unilateral tariffs were raised on $200 billion in Chinese imports and threats issued to get China to secede on US demands (open up their country, gain more transparency in the BRI [Belt and Road Initiative]). China shut out foreign countries, yet their manufacturing provided unprecedented growth to the country’s GDP.
Today, that dislike may fuel China’s upward rise. The ruling party promised to create 9 million new jobs but refused to join the U.S. in providing stimulus packages. As Bill Adams of PNC Financial Services Group said, “The pandemic is creating winners and losers.” And China is shouldering by the US to climb up to “winner” status.