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Posted on on August 19th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

China Vs. The USA: Olympic Muscle And Economic Clout.

It’s interesting to see the U.S. competing head-to-head with China for the top of the Olympic medal standings.  As Andrew Weber points out in USA Today, for decades this close competition was instead the exclusive battle of the U.S. vs. the USSR.

But times have changed, and nothing confirms more palpably for the American people that China is on the rise as a world power than it’s dominance in the 2012 Olympics. OK – the US got in the end the highest number of medals – even gold – but this was no easy win and with each passing new Olympics it gets more difficult.

Weber suggestsd that the U.S. will eventually gather the most medals at the London games, but until the past few days, China was leading in the overall standings.

Today, August 19th, 2012 – the papers have a new China success story – it was a Chinese young lady that became World beauty queen!

China’s emergance as a dominant Olympic power is a tangible extension of the nation’s expanding economic power.  With a massive industrial presence on the world stage, including a steel industry that dwarfs any other nation, and a trade surplus over the United States that hit $295 billion last year, there can be little doubt that the People’s Republic is a force to be reckoned with.

This doesn’t necessarily sit well with the American public.  Beijing is home to a repressive regime that utilizes whatever means necessary to hold on to power.  And China’s leadership employs a host of predatory trade practices to ensure that it undercuts U.S. manufacturers.

When asked about China’s persistent trade violations in a recent poll conducted by the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), U.S. voters said they emphatically support tough action on Beijing’s cheating on currency and other trade obligations.

More significantly, a majority of voters (56 percent) no longer see the U.S. as having the world’s strongest economy.  A plurality of those surveyed (31%) thought China now holds the top economic spot.

Seeing China at the top of the Olympic medal count can only confirm for many that the People’s Republic is the world’s new superpower.  But America’s democratic system is worth fighting for, and 88 percent of voters believe that it’s possible for America to have the strongest economy.  In fact, 92 percent believe that it is important for the U.S. to regain that position.

Read more about U.S. voter attitudes toward China and the economy.


What convinced us to post this now is really not about China – but Russia – the heir to the bygone USSR. Russia still got third place in the Olympic medal count – but a distant third compared to today’s two front runners.

Russia is insecure under Putin’s return to KGB rule. Russia has just condemned to prison three women that expressed their point of view about feminism and free speech. Many more Russians turned out to support them, and Chess Grand-Master Garri Kasparow may become next in the line to prison. This is the behavior of a Nation on its descent from the global ladder. Kasparow will also have backers, and as we wrote in a previous posting – this is not Pussy Riot vs. Putin – but Russia Riot vs. Pussycats. It is thus predictable that Russia will find itself trapped between an unforgiving Europe and a disrespectful China. Will Russia seek now Islamic friendship and cooperation despite Chechnya and the like? The Olympus days seem over for Russia, and threatened for the US.

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