## When will China overtake the U.S, economically?

 Quote by chiro The question is "what" are both China and the US making? It would be interesting to actually see what kinds of products are being made in the US, and what products are being made in China. For products that are "low-tech", a lot of these products manufacturing bases are moving overseas. In terms of training workers to make these products, it is nowhere near as intensive (and also in terms of the abundance of cheap labor with the required skillsets) as a worker that has to say be involved in manufacturing an MRI machine, or some other high-tech product that requires a higher level of training. It might actually be (and this is a conjecture but if you have actual data that answers my question that would be great) that all the cheap stuff is moved overseas and the expensive stuff (high-tech and other products that have a substantial value IP portfolio) are made in the states. Under the above assumption if there is that skewness, then it would make sense that the "productivity" would be higher. One thing to also note is that China's R&D capability is on the rise, and this should be kept in mind when thinking about possible future changes to productivity in manufacturing.
Don't have specific hard data, but I know that the U.S. excels in making things like medical devices, machine tools, sophisticated electronics and computers, computer chips, scientific instruments, industrial machinery and equipment, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, also big things such as automobiles, jet engines, airplanes, military things ranging from fighter jets to submarines to tanks, etc...you can find American companies making all of these things.
 @CAC1001, Thanks for the feedback. Nice post. I wonder if what seems to be the trend wrt the financial sector's increasing percentage of the US GDP is good or bad for the US general economy. Also, as population growth slows down, then should economic growth slow with it? Regarding predictions of the US and China economies circa 2040, that does seem to be overly speculative. Still, China is roughly 4 times larger than the US, so it doesn't seem too over the top to suppose that its economy might be, say, twice as large as the US's in a generation.

 Quote by CAC1001 Well the notion of America "de-industrializing" is largely a myth. The U.S. is one of the largest manufacturers on the planet and up until recently was the largest, being outdone by China slightly (China is responsible now for about 19.8% of global manufacturing as opposed to the U.S.'s 19.4% - LINK). But the U.S. achieves that 19.4% with far fewer workers then the Chinese due to our much greater labor productivity.
In volume, yes. As has been noted, ours ranges from low tech to high tech, as does theirs. The difference is that our materials science exceeds theirs. Make no mistake, however -- they've competent in high-tech, as well.

 Quote by MarcoD In a black and white world, a capitalist mercantile state is a force to be reckoned with. In a black and white world, a nationalist socialist totalitarian one-party state set on a mercantile strategy just isn't even funny anymore. I have no idea what western companies are doing there, except for that the world consists of shades of grey, and they better be darned sure China is light-grey.
As you put it, China's dominance in the world is becoming an inevitability.

 Quote by Willowz As you put it, China's dominance in the world is becoming an inevitability.
It isn't a pissing contest, but it might happen. The western economies are still way ahead in being more flexible and richer [but 'weak' at the moment], but China just holds the bigger numbers, and the Chinese model has advantages which could make it 'win' against free-market driven economies; i.e., they can more easily play a government-backed mercantile strategy where decisions are optimized against a zero-sum economic game to become the dominant faction.

The Dutch once ruled (parts of) the world, with a few million people, just by following a mercantile strategy through. If you do the same thing with a billion people, there's is no prediction where that will end.

(It's also interesting to note why the Chinese are on a mercantile route. No doubt, the examples of Japan, Korea, and -further down history- the India Companies are inspirational, but I think a bigger part of it is that they are all well versed maoists. They are playing 'the game of Marx' against the free-trading nations. It's a long term vision, whoever continuous down that road the longest, wins.)

 Quote by Willowz As you put it, China's dominance in the world is becoming an inevitability.
China and India had the largest economies for a large part of the last two millennia.

post 1911 China
 The biggest of these problems for China is it's demography ,it's manufacturing is very labour intensive ,an aging population means that their manufacturing base will hit unless they rethink about their one child policy. China doesn't have much to offer the world when it comes culture according to some

 Quote by truman When is China's culture likely to surpass the West's? And by West I might as well mean the US/UK? Never, that's when. Never ever do I ever envision the world picking up Mandarin textbooks and teaching their kids Chinese, wearing pins of chairman Mao, quilted vests, etc.
I know many young people who are learning Mandarin instead of for instance French or German.

Chinese culture is pins of chairman Mao and quilted vests?
Ignorance is bliss.
 I know this is an older post, but I wanted to point out this web site: http://atlas.media.mit.edu/ This "Atlas of Economic Complexity" from Harvard and MIT, has a wealth of information on different countries - growth rates, export breakdowns, etc. They project that between 2009 and 2020, the US economy will grow at a 2.84% rate, and the Chinese economy will grow at a 4.66% rate. Given where they are today (2009 - US GDP = 14T$, China GDP = 4.5T$), if you extrapolate these growth rates, it will take 65 years for them to cross, so the cross-over would be about 2075.

 Quote by Passionflower I know many young people who are learning Mandarin instead of for instance French or German.
I'm still kicking myself for wasting 4 years studying French in high school.

But for young people now, I might even suggest going with Korean. South Korea seems to have a slightly more western-friendly, vibrant entertainment culture (catchy youth-centered music, movies, and TV shows) compared to China, and then for practical business purposes to use in marketing to and recruiting hard-working, technical labor from their immigrant communities here in the US. I'd still imagine Spanish to be the most useful 2nd language for most Americans though.

 Quote by Passionflower Chinese culture is pins of chairman Mao and quilted vests? Ignorance is bliss.
I agree with that, that's a silly nationalistic notion. Most nationalists from any nation find their own culture superior to any other culture. I am Dutch, of course my culture is superior to the US's, what else. ( that's a joke. I leave my nationalism at home with the exception of soccer games when I enjoy it; I don't think cultures are superior with maybe the exception of Iran, and I am probably wrong there.)

Man, Chinese? Five thousand years of almost continuously being the most advanced global society with the largest average racial IQ? Who do you think invented paper making, compass, gunpowder, printing, and money?

My 'nationalistic' point is that I have a really simple geographically based order of where to solve problems, since that's what my children benefit the most from: House, city, nation, continent, world. The closer it is to you, the more important you fix, or help, it.

So I don't care about Chinese much, I just find it stupid that we're investing in China when we might as well develop Portugal, Poland, Romania, etc. Why make the Chinese rich to then have immigration from the poor bordering nations in Europe? It doesn't make sense.

 Quote by MarcoD Man, Chinese? Five thousand years of almost continuously being the most advanced global society with the largest average racial IQ? Who do you think invented paper making, compass, gunpowder, printing, and money?
What's ironic is that type of mindset on the part of the Chinese is what lost them their dominance and independence. They were so sure of their superiority to the West, that they became extremeley insular and ended up getting surpassed by the West, who then came in and forced them open.

 Quote by CAC1001 What's ironic is that type of mindset on the part of the Chinese is what lost them their dominance and independence. They were so sure of their superiority to the West, that they became extremeley insular and ended up getting surpassed by the West, who then came in and forced them open.
I don't think the west forced them open. They opened up their economy to foreign investment, but that's a one-way street. If I remember correctly, US, or European, export to China is about 1% of their total; that's not open, that's closed like a clam shell. (This was a number stated on Bloomberg, no idea. Looked at it, doesn't seem right. What was probably stated was export to China as percentage of US GDP.)

I am not an economist, but I wonder whether it is even macro economically possible to earn money against such a trade deficit.

If anything, I would say the west now owns the superiority complex.

 Quote by MarcoD I don't think the west forced them open. .
I think CAC1001 meant Opium Wars.

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 Quote by vici10 I think CAC1001 meant Opium Wars.
What? In what way?

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