China just keeps going from strength to strength. Has survived the subprime mess nicely. Here's a column I wrote on China back in November 2005 for the doctor-oriented magazine "Health and Lifestyle" : China : Sweet and Sour Russia feasts ecstatically on China. To support its continuous 9.5% per year growth rate, China imports frightening oceans of oil, and much of that comes from its immediate neighbor, Russia . All that oil going into China means billions of dollars going the other way into Russia, and indeed Russian government coffers are filling up nicely with Chinese dollars. These Petrodollars are transforming the skylines of Russian cities, where construction on five-star hotels and gleaming office buildings is in full swing. Even the ancient Kremlin is now surrounded by new construction projects. Russia is sending eastwards not just oil, but also raw materials, metals, machinery and other exports to support China's very rapid growth. At a time when Europe is economically stagnant, Russia is reaping the benefits of the Eastern Dragon's ravenous appetite for all materials and manufactures Russian. A great tailwind for Russia, from the breath of the roaring dragon. And yet not all countries in this world find China palatable. What is sweet for Russia is sour for others. Washington watches closely the warming relations between Russia and China, which have gotten to the point that Russian and Chinese armies have recently run joint War Games involving tens of thousands of soldiers. Russia is about to sell China numerous military aircraft for, in return, billions of dollars. Good for both China and Russia, but alarming for Washington, which is already concerned about Chinese space initiatives, such as the launching of the first Chinese astronaut in October 2003. Indeed, there is evidence that the Iraqi War has convinced China that a more belligerent and confrontational strategy against the U.S. will be strategically necessary. Already China spends much more on building up its armed forces , and on space activities, than Russia. The amazing success of America's "smart weapons" in the Gulf War led China to drastically upgrade its weapons systems in the 1990s. China looks with alarm at perceived world-domination tendencies by the U.S. in the Mideast. In fact, if one takes a long view of world history, Western domination of the world's economy is a relatively recent and ephemeral phenomenon. I suggest you read the book : "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order", by professor Samuel P. Huntington. This book shows that throughout recorded human history, it was not until the year 1830 that Western manufacturing output exceeded that of China. And Western manufacturing outpit as a percentage of the world's manufacturing output has been dropping since 1928. Professor Huntington writes: " ...for most of history, China had the world's largest economy." And the future? Everybody has seen China's rapid industrialization (it's now the biggest car and cellphone market in the world, for instance ; most U.S.-sold Dell computers are made in China, and all of IBM's PCs will be made in China...the list of products is endless.) Professor Huntington states : "This will be a slow process, but by the middle of the 21st century , if not before, the distribution of economic product and manufacturing output among the leading civilizations is likely to resemble that of 1800 (China having the biggest share). The 200-year Western 'blip' on the world economy will be over." China's rise will be faster, more complete, and more sustained, than Japan's "economic miracle" in the Post-War period. China does not face the limitations that Japan did. China's population is vast, and it has continental size, meaning it can support a competitive and strong economy within itself. Japan could not. And Japan's military dependence on the U.S. led it to be docile; China has no such dependence. It already has nuclear-armed missiles that can reach Hawaii, and probably California. China's dollar reserves are huge, and if it wanted to it could do damage to the American financial system by deliberately not buying US government debt instruments . Not likely, and very mutually disruptive, but globalisation has created such chinks in the armor of nations..... And what can the little Philippine nation do? Cooperate, and reap the benefits. We have tremendous mineral deposits to mine and sell to China. (Indeed, China's growth in the next several decades will support high iron ore , nickel etc. prices for us.) We have high-quality professionals - accountants, doctors, teachers and others - to send to China for employment. We have beaches and casinos and other vacation/tourist spots to satisfy the tens of millions of soon-to-be-wealthy-enough Chinese tourists and gamblers (some have already come to Boracay). We can solidify JOINT exploitation of oil deposits in the Spratlys, rather than engage in a struggle that we cannot possibly win. We can exploit the vast Chinese consumer market, as Jollibee and San Miguel already have done. We can educate huge numbers of Chinese students in our institutions of learning. In short, we can cooperate and reap the benefits, not keep demonizing the Chinese as godless monsters and (ulp) inferior beings. We should setup our national strategy so that we will have a sweet, and not a sour, relationship with China. If I were younger, I would learn Chinese.