The two great challenges of the 21st century are global warming and China’s domination of the planet.
China has more than four times the population of the United States. When China’s GDP per capita reaches one-fourth the per capita GDP of the U.S., China will pass the U.S. in total GDP. Various forecasts predict that will happen by 2030. (See Sources.) China’s economy is expected to be twice the size of the U.S. around 2060 and three to four times the size of the U.S. by 2300. Hence, the U.S. economy will be one-fourth the size of China’s economy around the turn of the next century.
How influential is a country whose economy is one-fourth the size of the leader? Somalia and Guyana have about one-fourth the GDP of the U.S. How influential are they in global affairs?
China is already showing leadership in several areas, especially technology. China’s number of college graduates rose to over 9 million in 2021. The U.S. was just under 2 million. China now ranks 2nd to the U.S. in the number of top universities among the top 500 in the world.
China intends to be Number 1 in renewable energy production. China already generates twice as much renewable energy (wind & solar) as the U.S. China wants to be Number 1 in the production and use of electric cars. China controls 90% of the world’s lithium. China now produces nearly twice as many electric cars and hybrids as the U.S. China intends to be Number 1 in high-speed rail. China now has more than 23,000 miles of high-speed, electric rail. The U.S. has 34 miles.
China plans to be Number 1 in artificial intelligence (AI). Eric Schmidt, former chair of Google, said, “By 2025, China will be ahead of the U.S. in AI. By 2030, they will dominate the industry.”
China plans to be Number 1 in quantum computing. According to NASA, quantum computers will outperform today’s supercomputers by more than 3,600 times and today’s personal computers by 100 million times. China is building the world’s largest quantum-computer research facility. China has already launched a satellite than utilizes quantum computing.
Along with global warming, global governance will be the other great challenge in the 21st century. As obvious as this is, few Americans grasp the significance. Politicians often cannot see beyond the next election. Even though China’s Belt & Road Initiative may be an early element in global control, there has been little effort to address this issue.
The U.S. Federal Government should establish a task force to look beyond the four-year election cycle and focus on finding long-term solutions to global governance. One solution to consider is the expansion of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) into a governmental organization. The 38 OECD countries are democracies, including the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, Israel, Japan, Australia, South Korea and others. (See OECD Members.) This organization could be strengthened into a governmental body with a population and economic power to match China.
Sources: International Monetary Fund; World Bank; Economist Intelligence Unit; PricewaterhouseCoopers.
OECD Members: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak