A more accurate picture of the scale of an economy can be given using PPP - purchasing power parity. PPP is the ratio between two or more monetary units, currencies of different countries, established by their purchasing power in relation to a specific set of goods and services. Economists believe that the calculation of PPP is particularly applicable to the Chinese economy, since estimates at the official exchange rate do not take into account significantly lower prices for goods and services within the country compared with developed countries.
Arvind Subramanyan from Peterson Institute for International Economics (USA) recently published an article entitled “Is China already the first number? New estimates of GDP ", which claims that the statistics of the Middle Kingdom gives high prices for products. This leads to the fact that the absolute level of GDP is underestimated, and the growth rate of the economy, on the contrary, turn out to be overestimated. According to Subramanian’s calculations, in 2010, China’s GDP at PPP actually amounted to 14,8 trillion. dollars, which is 200 billion dollars (about 1,4%) more American!
The question arises: why should China lower its GDP? Give the floor again to Subramanian. First, it is possible to demonstrate high growth rates to the whole world, which gives a psychological effect and convinces us of an effective PRC leadership policy. Secondly, for the sake of economy: a smaller economy allows you to make smaller contributions to international financial organizations. Thirdly, now the gap between the yuan and the dollar at PPP and market rates is about 40%, and if low prices were taken into account when calculating PPP, the gap would have been even greater. This would increase Washington’s pressure on Beijing, which is reminded at every international summit that it is time to strengthen the yuan in order to stabilize the global economy and eliminate imbalances. According to the results of 2011, the picture of China’s economic superiority will become even clearer, Subramanian believes.
It is also important that China has already become the first industrial power in the world. Industrial production accounts for at least 50% of GDP, or about 2,5 trillion. US dollars This figure is lower - less than 2 trillion. In this sense, the current visit of President Hu Jintao to Washington is the visit of the “older” brother to the “younger” - Barack Obama (hereinafter allocated by the author).
"The threat of the United States and its allies has increased significantly"
Of course, China is still inferior to the United States in the latest technologies, military equipment and armaments, losing at sea. However, narrowing the gap with the United States is already happening.
On the eve of Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States, China successfully tested its first orbital unmanned vehicle, which is able to stay in space for 270 days a year and solve various defense tasks, including the destruction of communications satellites, the Sunday Times weekly reported in London on 17. According to the publication, the latest Chinese space robot aircraft is designed to challenge the US orbiting X-37B orbiter, which completed its first mission last year. The device is able to strike at any point on the planet, while it is not possible to hit it from the ground with existing air defense weapons. So far, the USAF has one similar drone. It is expected that the second X-37B will be commissioned this year. Now, according to the Sunday Times, China has given its response to the most advanced US weapons system.
And with other innovations in military equipment and weapons, things are not bad. “News of the new Chinese J-20, a fifth-generation stealth fighter, and anti-ship ballistic missile (AKBR) mean that the threat to the United States and its allies has increased significantly,” retired admiral James E. Lyons writes in The Washington Times. , former commander of the Pacific fleet USA. In his opinion, China plans to block access not only to the water area of the South China Sea, which has been declared a zone of its interests, but also to the “second series of archipelagos” in the western Pacific Ocean, including the island of Guam.
It is characteristic that the demonstration of the newest Chinese aircraft took place on the main day of the visit to Beijing of US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, whose goal was to convince the Chinese to assist the United States in solving the problem of nuclear proliferation weapons. The fact is that the United States suspects China of being involved in the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea. Such a remarkable coincidence made Robert Gates directly contact Hu Jintao with a question: “Did you intentionally combine a test flight with our talks?” He was told: there is no connection, the flight was planned for this day a long time ago. Perhaps this is so. However, it is also true that China’s visit to Beijing in every possible way has delayed Gates’s visit to June.
To this we can add that in the People's Republic of China the re-equipment of the Soviet-era aircraft carrier Varyag, built earlier in the Ukrainian shipyards, is being re-equipped. In 2011, it should already be operational. China's goal is to use the ship recovery process to train technicians who will build Chinese aircraft carriers in the future. It is believed that China creates its own carrier-based fighters, copying the technology of Russian Su-33 aircraft, and also adapts its J-11 fighter jets to take-off and landing on an aircraft carrier.
In addition, nuclear deterrence forces are being upgraded by moving to the use of mobile launchers and second-generation missile submarines. Therefore, it is clear that the British The Financial Times is right when he writes that "in Robert Gates, the US Secretary of Defense, China’s build-up of military power is in some sense more alarming than the confrontation with the Soviet Union during the Cold War."
Similar sentiments are common in American society. A survey of Rasmussen Reports, conducted in February 2010, showed that half of Americans consider China a long-term threat to the United States. CNN's poll gave an even higher result - 58% of US residents called China a threat to the security of their country.
During the talks with his Chinese counterpart, General Liang Guangle Gates, he expressed concern about the rapid pace of Chinese military construction and its secretive nature. As you know, the United States is in first place in the world in terms of the military budget, and the PRC is in the second. In response, General Liang assured that "China’s efforts in military development are in no way directed against any third party or any country in the world." At the same time, he warned Washington against continuing arms transfers to Taiwan. By the way, the decision on these deliveries in the amount of 6,4 billion dollars, taken by Washington a year earlier, was the main cause of the most severe cooling in relations between the two countries over the past decade.
Cooling has only intensified with the beginning of the implementation of the “return to Asia” strategy by the United States. Last summer, Washington actually pushed China’s neighbors to intensify territorial disputes. True, a serious crisis occurred only in Sino-Japanese relations. The rest of the neighbors decided not to get involved in a confrontation with Beijing, which ultimately led to a further decline in US influence. This was just demonstrated by the last crisis on the Korean Peninsula and the unsuccessful tour of Barack Obama to the countries of Southeast Asia in November.
Needless to say, under such conditions, the USA will not refuse to supply arms to Taiwan, and China will continue to modernize its armed forces !? After all, the need for a rapidly growing economy in energy resources is constantly increasing and it is necessary to ensure their safe and uninterrupted delivery, as well as the security of the country as a whole. Especially against the background of a very likely return to the White House after the next presidential election militant Republicans, such as Sarah Palin and his comrades. The former US representative to the UN, John Bolton, on the pages of The Financial Times, has already warned the Chinese: “Perhaps in two years there will be another president in the USA who is ready to abandon the program of international passivity and decline.”
Meanwhile, Taiwan, clearly concerned about President Hu's visit to the United States, decided to remind himself of himself these days. On January 18, military missiles were launched in Taiwan in the presence of President Ma Ying-jeou. The purpose of the exercise is to remind the Americans of their obligation to strengthen the defense of the island. A third of the 19 rockets flew past targets. Nevertheless, it should be recognized that the time for the demonstration of power was well chosen. Just when Chairman Hu is in the United States, Taipei reminded Washington that promises should be kept. Especially in conditions when the military superiority of mainland China looks more convincing.
At the same time, the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the United States to comply with the “Relationship with Taiwan Law”, under which the United States supplies arms to the island. As is known, Taiwan insists on the speedy delivery of the latest F-16 C / D fighters, which mainland China strongly opposes. Americans are delaying supplies, fearing the wrath of Beijing. But the United States cannot afford to lose Taiwan, for it will be a great blow to their prestige and recognition of the dominant position of China. Therefore, according to the Boston Globe newspaper, the key differences between China and the United States are likely to remain.
The New York Times, which has devoted its first editorial this year to the situation in the Western Pacific, draws attention to the seriousness of the developing arms race between the United States and China. Given the nature of Chinese military construction, the newspaper suggests that the Obama administration abandon ship purchases that do not have adequate protection from missiles, in particular the DDG-1000 series destroyers, and also reduce the dependence of the Navy on F-18 and F-35 short-range aircraft. favor of unmanned strike aircraft launched from aircraft carriers of a larger radius of action N-UCAS. But the air force, the newspaper said, must cancel plans for the purchase of 2 thousand short-range strike aircraft, but not long-range bombers.
In the US, they are concerned about the prospect of a cold war with China, from which America is unlikely to emerge victorious. 14 expressed this sentiment in January on the pages of The Washington Post, Henry Kissinger, who proposed the creation of a consultative mechanism to establish common long-term goals and harmonize the positions of China and the United States in international forums. Hints Kissinger and the old idea of dividing the world for two.
"Junior" must obey the "senior"
However, does China need such a section? Indeed, in Beijing, at least at the official level, they consider the strengthening of their country not a challenge to America, but a return to a normal state of affairs when China occupied a dominant position. Here you can remember that even in 1820, China was the largest economy in the world - 33% of the world one. Western Europe accounted for 27%, India for 16%, and the USA for only 2%.
In an interview with the PRC Chairman for the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, on the eve of his visit to the United States, Hu Jintao bluntly stated that the cause of the global economic crisis was “lack of regulation”, and the current global currency, which is commonly considered to be the US dollar, is “a product of the past.” The questions of newspapers about human rights, including those related to the imprisoned Nobel Prize winner Liu Saobo, Chairman Hu did not find it necessary to even answer - made it clear that the time when Washington was dictating its rules of the game in economics, finance and the humanitarian field remained the past.
Hu Jintao advised Washington to look at the achievements of each other’s development in an “objective and reasonable manner, respect the independent choice of development paths on each side and move towards the achievement of common goals, guided by mutually beneficial cooperation”. A council of this kind excludes any prospect of further speculations on the subject of “human rights” for Americans.
The US and China are in the process of reviewing their global strategy today. The role of the United States in the world is falling, although Washington is hardly ready to come to terms with this. At the same time, the power of the PRC is growing, its interests and efforts are intensifying not only in Asia, but also in Europe, Africa, and more recently in Latin America. We are talking about a slow but consistent process of localizing US influence.
“Over the past few years, Chinese banks have distributed 10 billion more loans to developing countries than the World Bank with the dominant Americans,” says Austrian Die Presse. “The World Bank ties its loans to the need for political transformation. As for the Chinese functionaries, any partners, from African dictators to the enemies of American "imperialists" like Hugo Chávez, are suitable for achieving their strategic goals. China only requires economic reforms to protect its investments, ”the article says.
In order to sweeten the bitter pill of the failures of recent years for Americans, Beijing has recently, through unofficial channels, proposed the creation of a forum for security in the Asia-Pacific region. According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, China considers Russia to be the privileged participant of such a forum. However, for the United States, of course, the place is provided. Nevertheless, according to Hillary Clinton, the United States and the People's Republic of China are currently located at the “most important fork”, when the trajectory of their further relations depends on the choice of both countries.
These are the general conditions of Hu Jintao’s visit to the USA on January 18-21.
On economic issues, a number of agreements were immediately reached. US and Chinese companies have entered into a number of deals totaling $ 45 billion. In particular, the contract of Chinese companies with the Boeing aircraft manufacturer was signed, according to which 200 liners of this corporation will be delivered to the PRC. In addition, agreements were reached for the supply of Alcoa, General Electric, Honeywell, Westinghouse and Caterpillar products to various Chinese organizations. The main deals relate to the cooperation of Washington and Beijing in the field of agriculture, gas and railway transport. As the representative of the American authorities, the transaction will provide 235 with thousands of US citizens. It was also announced that China is investing 3 billion dollars in the US economy.
On the issue of the yuan appreciation, Chairman Hu remained unmoved. How many Obama has tried to explain that if the yuan rises, it will spur demand in the domestic market of the PRC and help solve the Chinese government’s problem with inflation, it didn’t work.
Lawmakers in both houses of the US Congress are calling for punishing China for currency manipulations that give China-made products a price advantage in foreign markets. Yes, just how to do it, if China has a debt of US Treasury almost 900 billion. Dollars !?
In addition, the Americans were virtually alone in the struggle to raise the yuan, because the European Union does not support them in this matter. During the visit to the EU by the Deputy Prime Minister of the PRC Li Keqiang in early January, neither the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, nor the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, nor his British counterpart David Cameron raised the issue of the exchange rate of the Chinese currency. In Europe, the situation is assessed more realistically than in America, and they do not want to quarrel with their most important trading partner.
As for humanitarian and political problems, here Obama was expecting a cold shower. The President of the United States traditionally spoke about "human rights" during a joint press conference. Chairman Hu’s response was unequivocal: “... it is necessary to take into account the various circumstances in which the PRC and the USA find themselves. China is a developing country with a huge population, which is also at the crucial stage of economic reforms. ” However, Hu Jintao promised that human rights reforms would continue. About how they should look, the Chinese leader did not spread. It can be assumed that, just like socialism, it is “with Chinese characteristics”.
Hu Jintao also made it clear to his American counterpart that he should not worry about the Dalai Lama and Xinjiang separatists living in exile. These are purely internal questions of China. Initially, at a press conference, Chairman Hu even “did not hear” the question on this topic.
The main international positions where Washington wants to see Beijing as a partner, and not a rival, are the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear program, the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, international terrorism. However, Beijing cannot afford to “surrender” the DPRK, for a united Korea would mean for it a new source of headache. China is also categorically against the use of force to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. The presence of the American armed forces in Afghanistan has a dual character for China. On the one hand, it inhibits the expansion of the extremist wing of Islam, on the other, it is dangerous in itself, since the troops are on the threshold of China.
As for Pakistan, the Chinese have long preferred to act on their own here, using Islamabad to contain India. However, the points of contact were still revealed, because both sides are not equally interested in the collapse of Pakistani statehood.
The parties exchanged points of view, but could not come to a consensus on Sudan. A referendum in the south of the country and the soon emergence of a new independent state there, everyone wants to take advantage of, since we are talking about considerable oil reserves.
In November 1957, Mao Zedong said: “I believe that the current situation is characterized by the fact that the wind from the East dominates the wind from the West ...” 53 has passed since then. From the point of view of the world stories - very little. Nevertheless, we can already observe how the prophecy of the “great helmsman” begins to come true. In any case, the head of the PRC, Hu Jintao, topped the list of the most powerful people in the world, compiled in November 2010 by Forbes magazine.