Headquarter of Alibaba Group, a Chinese multinational conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI and technology, in Hangzhou, China's Zhejiang Province. /VCG Photo
Thus, China has benefited much more from these 40 years of economic ties than has the United States. China has scaled up its industries through American manufacturing and the natural transfer of technology that entails, improved corporate management through outside advisement, and advanced human resources through educational exchanges and overseas training.
This was not at America's expense, however. American competitiveness has declined in some key areas like primary education and infrastructure capacity owing to internal American challenges from political divisions and cultural changes.
Frankly speaking, the American business and political elite were not prepared for the rapidity of this transformation in the relationship and the United States is not yet ready to cede global financial and economic leadership generally, and certainly not to China in particular.
Most American decision-makers still hope to dictate the rules of the game and compel others to adhere to U.S. preferences, using the leverage of international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund, the multilateral trading organization of the World Trade Organization, or direct pressure to gain compliance as on Japan and West Germany in the 1980s Plaza Accord or on most everyone during the Trump administration.