Introduction: China and the United States are moving in polar opposite directions: Beijing is rapidly becoming the center of overseas investments in high tech industries, including robotics, nuclear energy and advanced machinery with collaboration from centers of technological excellence, like Germany.
In contrast, Washington is pursuing a predatory military pivot to the least productive regions with collaboration from its most barbaric allies, like Saudi Arabia.
China is advancing to global economic superiority by borrowing and innovating the most advanced methods of production, while the US degrades and debases its past immense productive achievements to promote wars of destruction.
China’s growing prominence is the result of a cumulative process that advanced in a systematic way, combining step-by-step growth of productivity and innovation with sudden jumps up the ladder of cutting edge technology.
China’s Success and the Latin American Retreat
After more than a decade of growth and stability, Latin America’s progressive regimes have retreated and declined. Why has China continued on the path of stability and growth while their Latin American partners retreated and suffered defeats?
Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Ecuador, for over a decade, served as Latin America’s center-left success story. Their economies grew, social spending increased, poverty and unemployment were reduced and worker incomes expanded.
Subsequently their economies went into crisis, social discontent grew and the center-left regimes fell.
In contrast to China, the Latin American center-left regimes did not diversify their economies: they remained heavily dependent on the commodity boom for growth and stability.
The Latin American elites borrowed and depended on foreign investment, and financial capital, while China engaged in public investments in industry, infrastructure, technology and education.
Latin American progressives joined with foreign capitalist and local speculators in non-productive real estate speculation and consumption, while China invested in innovative industries at home and abroad. While China consolidated political rulership, the Latin American progressives “allied” with strategic domestic and overseas multi-national adversaries to ’share power’, which were, in fact, eagerly prepared to oust their “left” allies.
When the Latin commodity based economy collapsed, so did the political links with their elite partners. In contrast, China’s industries benefited from the lower global commodity prices, while Latin America’s left suffered. Faced with widespread corruption, China launched a major campaign purging over 200,000 officials. In Latin America, the Left ignored corrupt officials, allowing the opposition to exploit the scandals to oust center-left officials.
While Latin America imported machinery and parts from the West; China bought the entire Western companies producing the machines and their technology – and then implemented Chinese technological improvements.
China successfully outgrew the crisis, defeated its adversaries and proceeded to expand local consumption and stabilized rulership.
Latin America’s center-left suffered political defeats in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, lost elections in Venezuela and Bolivia and retreated in Uruguay.
China’s political economic model has outperformed the imperialist West and leftist Latin America. While the US has spent billions in the Middle East for wars on behalf of Israel, China has invested similar amounts in Germany for advanced technology, robotics and digital innovations.
While President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “pivot to Asia” has been largely a wasteful military strategy to encircle and intimidate China, Beijing’s “pivot to markets” has successfully enhanced its economic competitiveness. As a result, over the past decade, China’s growth rate is three times that of the US; and in the next decade China will double the US in ‘robotizing’ its productive economy.
The US ‘pivot to Asia’, with its heavy dependence on military threats and intimidation has cost billions of dollars in lost markets and investments. China’s ‘pivot to advanced technology’ demonstrates that the future lies in Asia not the West. China’s experience offers lessons for future Latin American leftist governments.
First and foremost, China emphasizes the necessity of balanced economic growth, over and above short-term benefits resulting from commodity booms and consumerist strategies.
Secondly, China demonstrates the importance of professional and worker technical education for technological innovation, over and above business school and non-productive ’speculative’ education so heavily emphasized in the US.
Thirdly, China balances its social spending with investment in core productive activity; competitiveness and social services are combined.
China’s enhanced growth and social stability, its commitment to learning and surpassing advanced economies has important limitations, especially in the areas of social equality and popular power. Here China can learn from the experience of Latin America’s Left. The social gains under Venezuela’s President Chavez are worthy of study and emulation; the popular movements in Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina, which ousted neo-liberals from power, could enhance efforts in China to overcome the business- state nexus of pillage and capital flight.
China, despite its socio-political and economic limitations, has successfully resisted US military pressures and even ‘turned the tables’ by advancing on the West.
In the final analysis, China’s model of growth and stability certainly offers an approach that is far superior to the recent debacle of the Latin American Left and the political chaos resulting from Washington’s quest for global military supremacy.
Source: James Petras