The energy shortage is a threat to China but is just as real to the U.S. even though the U.S. is blessed with large deposits of fossil energy and gases. These resources eventually will be depleted and worst their usage will hasten the deterioration of the Earth environment and climate change. The U.S. energy policies had been practicing pro-conservation and seeking renewable energies, but recently, there are signs of change - a dangerous one - to thwart other nations’ economic growth (and need of energy) based on the zero-sum logic – This is essentially a Competition Strategy. The U.S. wants to slow down China’s growth in order to sustain her competitive advantage and her demand of energy. But this logic is false, it is not just China, but Brazil, Russia, India and the rest of the world are all developing and demanding more energy. The U.S. cannot constantly thwart the development of every other nation, to maintain her own growth. This is not only unethical but also impractical, since 300 million Americans cannot dictate 7 billion people’s fate. Even the U.S. is the superpower; it is not possible to sustain the ‘Competition Model’ through economical, military or any other power against the rising nations. The competition model leads only to a result of mutual destruction. The BRICS is one group which has formed an alliance to protect their economic growth challenging the U.S. if necessary. The U.S. cannot afford to and should not take on the rest of the world to compete for limited Earth resources.
The competition model is vulnerable but there is a peaceful solution, perhaps the only workable one, that is, the ‘Collaboration model’. Science and technology breakthroughs have slowed down after one century of rapid development. The U.S. had achieved the leader position in science and technologies. Atomic theory, Quantum Mechanics and Relativity have brought us great advances in physics, material sciences and various technologies but we are reaching the limits. For example, one of the greatest inventions, solid state integrated circuits, is now miniaturized to 3 nano-meter (angstrom) level, meaning not far to shrink. In order to get more inventions and innovations, scientists, engineers and researches must collaborate and work hard to find breakthroughs and solve the toughest tasks. The U.S. was the leader in inventions in 20th century represented by patents rewarded to US government and corporations but now others have caught up. China is now receiving the greatest number of patents with her technological advances visibly in infrastructure construction (bridge and tunnel technology), manufacturing processes (automation and robotics), transportation (high-speed rail and electric vehicles), agricultural (conversion of desert to farm land, salt water rice field), energy (storage, ultra high voltage transmission and fusion experiments), and even in space technology (satellites, Beidou geo-positioning and space shuttle and space station) China made these achievements despite of decades of technology sanctions from the West. To squeeze the last mile productivity or to explore new energy, for instance to make man-made sun with fusion and to explore outer-space for new discoveries and resources, it is obvious that collaboration is the best bet to yield positive results, especially between the U.S. and China.
The U.S. had shared the low and middle level technologies with the world by exporting and domestically reducing her manufacturing base in low and mid-tech industries. The U.S. favored hi-tech industries and finance engineering and systems for her economical growth. However, the 2008 financial crisis and the stagnant economic growth followed in recent decade showed that the U.S. must change her policies. In view of the above analysis, one can see clearly that the U.S. must abandon the zero-sum competition model and adopt a collaborative model to pursue win-win projects in various fields, especially in energy. For example, the U.S. can offer her abundant energy resources to obtain favorable collaboration with other countries. Instead of making military provocation in South China Sea over navigation around small islands, it is far more productive to collaborate with China to explore the deep sea frozen methane energy in that region to alleviate the world energy shortage threat. Similarly, working with China in electric cars, energy storage, fusion energy and space exploration may yield solutions to solve the resource limitation problems on Earth. Mankind has come a long way in making progress in civilization. It is time for great nations to lead the Earth to think as one community to deal with the real threat to humans rather than to compete in an ancient style such as Thucydides behavior.
China’s constitution defines China as a socialist unitary state under the people’s democratic dictatorship. It defines China’s political system as an alliance of the working classes, all workers and peasants. The constitution does not mention The Chinese Communist Party of China (CCP) as the ruling party in China. CCP claims to represent the working classes and wants to remain in power forever. (Which political party on Earth does not want to remain in power for as long as it can? The answer is none.) Only the working class can take away the power from the ruling party through a constitution provided political process, in China’s case, the People’s Congress, or the alternative by revolution. Thus, the CCP places people’s welfare as the top priority and very much mindful of any people’s dissatisfaction that may lead to a revolt. True, revolution is not easy but a ruling government’s constant concern of people’s dissatisfaction is an effective accountability measure. China seems to have adopted a reform process to ensure that the ruling party is placing people’s welfare and maintaining national unity as the highest priority and have enacted measures to prevent and punish corruption. China has not showed any real aggressive expansion towards other countries other than defending her historical sovereignty. China’s military spending and defense effort are mainly reactionary to external threats and provocation. Judging China’s current policies, one cannot deny that the CCP is fulfilling the above national objectives effectively. The U.S., for her own interests, has worked with many democratic and dictator governments in the past 70 years; it seems that a stable Chinese government led by CCP would be a preferred government for the U.S. to collaborate with.
Some think tanks in the U.S. including a few current Administrative officials seem to believe the U.S. can adopt the ‘Competition Model’ and make the U.S. great again. The above analysis tells us though such a view is short-sighted; a ‘Competition Model’ will eventually lead to war and mutual destruction. Only the ‘collaboration model’, on the other hand, can be a peaceful solution to solve the real threat to both countries and the world. If the U.S. and China can collaborate to face the challenges and threats together, there is a good chance that the two nations can not only sustain their own economic development but also lead the entire world to better living condition. For the ‘collaboration model’ to work, interference of the other nation’s political system must stop. Only under stable political systems, collaboration on long-term objectives can be achieved. As Trump and Xi may meet again in the future, let’s hope that the U.S. and China will move towards collaboration rather than confrontation!