Americans must come to terms with the reality that their own vaunted democratic system has often failedthem—by letting the economy run off a cliff, for example—and that China's one-party system, which is ableto gather information, formulate policies, and then effect them quickly—clearly has its advantages.China and America also have plenty to build on. The two countries have an unusually strong sentimentaland historical bond. Thanks to a century of U.S. missionary activity in China, many Chinese admireAmerica's generosity, entrepreneurialism, and fair--mindedness—even if they often resent U.S. power andself-righteousness.More important, the two countries now face, and must work together to solve, two critical questions: how toconstruct a new financial architecture and how to solve climate change. Take the economy: the U.S. relieson China to fund its debt, and China relies on the U.S. to buy its goods. While Americans have started tosave more and Chinese to consume more, this codependency is not about to end. So without Chinaparticipating in the rebuilding of a new post-crisis economic architecture, both countries could run intoserious trouble. And they know it.Climate change is even more urgent. The U.S. and China together produce almost 50 percent of the world's-greenhouse-gas emissions. Unless they find a way to stop hiding behind each other and start dealing withthis problem, it will not matter what all the other well-intentioned states do. Everyone will suffer.So the challenge is not whether the U.S. and China can draw closer, but how to get them to recognize thatthey already are intimately intertwined. Fate has bound them together, and they must find effective ways tocollaborate. Fortunately, this is the very definition of common interest. And there is nothing like commoninterest—and a looming sense of common threat—to form the basis of a strong, productive relationship.
Schell is Arthur Ross director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society.
2) No Chance Against China
Google's defeat foretells the day when Beijing rules the world.
By Martin Jacques | NEWSWEEKPublished Jan 16, 2010From the magazine issue dated Jan 25, 2010
The blunt truth is tthat most Western forecasters have been wrong about China for the past 30 years. Theyhave claimed that Chinese economic growth was exaggerated, that a big crisis was imminent, that statecontrols would fade away, and that exposure to global media, notably the Internet, would steadily underminethe Communist Party's authority. The reason why China forecasting has such a poor track record is thatWesterners constantly invoke the model and experience of the West to explain China, and it is a falseprophet. Until we start trying to understand China on its own terms, rather than as a Western-style nation inthe making, we will continue to get it wrong.The Google affair tells us much about what China is and what it will be like. The Internet has been seen inthe West as the quintessential expression of the free exchange of ideas and information, untrammeled bygovernment interference and increasingly global in reach. But the Chinese government has shown that theInternet can be successfully filtered and controlled. Google's mission, "to organize the world's informationand make it universally accessible and useful," has clashed with the age-old presumption of Chinese rulersof the need and responsibility to control. In this battle, there will be only one winner: China. Google will beobliged either to accept Chinese regulations or exit the world's largest Internet market, with seriousconsequences for its long-term global ambitions. This is a metaphor for our times: America's most dynamic