2. It reaps global benefits from a state-controlled economy|
But China didn’t need Xi’s coronation last week to herald its arrival. While the U.S. economy remains 40% larger than China’s in terms of GDP, China’s top-down control of its economy and state-owned enterprises means it can harness its economic power and channel it in ways Washington can only dream of.
China writes checks to befriend other countries, and it does so without the demands the U.S. typically requires of its loan-recipients (like adherence to human rights). Yes, the U.S. still has the almighty U.S. dollar, the world’s global reserve currency, which ensures it remains a player in the global economy for years to come. But China has a proactive plan to realize its global economic ambitions—the jewel of which is the One Belt One Road infrastructure plan, a network of roads, ports, tracks, and pipelines that will tie together the economies of more than 60 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.
China’s state capitalism doesn’t just power the country’s economy, it gives Beijing the ability to strategically engage a fracturing world in a way that Washington, with its diffuse and independent economic centers, can’t.