Opinions and Editorials

Nov. 20, 2017

Wall Street Journal Opinion: Fear American Complacency, Not China, by David Kline

This post originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal on November 20, 2017.

The last time I visited China, I had tea with Deng Xiaoping. It was 1978, and the Chinese leader outlined for me a plan to modernize his country by unleashing its enormous entrepreneurial energies. At the time, I thought his approach seemed pie-in-the-sky.

But today, having just returned from my first visit to China in 40 years, I’m a believer. Back when I met Deng, the number of private automobiles in all of China could be counted in the thousands. Today there are about 200 million. Since 1978, China’s economy has grown more than 5,000%, and the disposable income of its citizens has skyrocketed. By 2030, China could surpass the U.S. to become the biggest economy in the world.