4.13.2005

The End of the American Century?

India, China Hoping to 'Reshape the World Order' Together
Look, we're not slagging India & China. We're not claiming that the US should always be dominant... but why are the American Government & American Businesses helping?

India and China announced a new "strategic partnership" Monday, pledging to resolve long-standing border disputes and boost trade and economic cooperation between two rising powers that together account for more than a third of the world's population.

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The prospect of a more cooperative relationship has significant global implications, given the vast economic potential of India and China and their voracious appetites for energy and other natural resources.

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In geopolitical terms, the consequences of a rapprochement between the world's two most populous countries could be profound. "In the same way that commentators refer to the 1900s as the American Century, the early 21st century may be seen as the time when some in the developing world, led by India and China, come into their own," said a December 2004 study by the U.S. National Intelligence Council.

Such "arriviste" powers, the study noted, "could usher in a new set of international alignments, potentially marking a definitive break with some of the post-World War II institutions and practices." The report also said that India "could emerge as the world's fastest-growing economy" by 2020, overtaking China.

In pursuing closer ties, each country is clearly eager to capitalize on the other's economic strengths -- manufacturing and computer hardware in China, services and software in India -- while boosting trade that by all accounts has remained far below its potential. Last year, trade between the two countries came to $13.6 billion, compared with about $20 billion between India and the United States. India and China pledged Monday to boost their trade to $20 billion by 2008.

"If India and China cooperate in the IT industry, we will be able to lead the world," Wen said in Bangalore on Sunday. "It will signify the coming of the Asian century in the IT industry."

Remember: we're running deficits - HUGE ones fueled by the Bush 'tax cuts' and the wars - and China is assuming more and more of our debt. Is this a good thing? That the next viable Economic Super-Power is holding the keys to our kingdom?

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