Fareed Zakaria: Does the Future Belong to China?

From a special issue of Newsweek titled “China’s Century,” Fareed Zakaria writes:

Every businessman these days has a dazzling statistic about China, meant to stun the listener into silence. And they are an impressive set of numbers. China is now the world’s largest producer of coal, steel and cement, the second largest consumer of energy and the third largest importer of oil, which is why gas prices are soaring. China’s exports to the United States have grown by 1,600 percent over the past 15 years, and U.S. exports to China have grown by 415 percent…

But the statistic that wins this contest, that conveys the depth and breadth of the challenge the United States faces, is surely the one about the Intel Fair. Intel sponsors a Science and Engineering Fair, which is the world’s largest precollege science competition, open to high-school students from around the world. Last year was a good one for Americans: 65,000 participated in the local fairs that are used to select finalists. In China the number was 6 million.

The full article is here, along with a report about the 2008 Olympics called “Games and Grievances.”

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