China doesn't want to become America. Why that's bad news ... for America.
On our family coffee table is the book “Phoenix, Now vs. Then.” It compares photos of various local locations now and 40 years ago. My recent experience in China reminded me of that book. I participated in one of the first American cultural exchanges with China 40 years ago. Our host counterparts were ambitious young Chinese leaders who demonstrated an insatiable curiosity about America, both our free enterprise system and our democracy. The youth in China were at the cusp of pressing their nation to resemble ours.
That was then.
Today the many young people we met have now largely concluded that their “managed economy” and “managed democracy” serve them better than the American-inspired and freer alternatives.