Chinamerica: The uneasy partnership that will change the world, published by McGraw-Hill Professional

“A must-read for anyone seeking to understand the emergence of China as a major industrial power and how profoundly it is changing the world economy.” –Dr. Henry Kressel, author of Competing for the Future: How Digital Innovations Are Changing the World

“This book is essential reading for business leaders and observers everywhere as this dramatic shift of economic and political power from the West to China continues.” –Ray Bingham, chairman, Flextronics International

Chinamerica provides extremely in-depth visibility into the interactions and interdependency of China and the United States. I believe everyone who takes the time to read it will learn of the many challenges and opportunities that exist for both China and the United States.” –Richard Kulle, president and CEO, gEM Services Inc.

“Handel Jones lays out concisely what China is doing right and the United States is doing wrong. This is a wake-up call because China today is the most serious economic competitor that the United States has ever faced. This book should be required reading for all U.S. politicians and business leaders.” –Wilfred J. Corrigan, founder, chairman, and CEO (retired), LSI Logic Corp.

Book Review

Marcin Strojwas, ph.D., Director of Business Development, PDF Solutions

National economies are all about competitiveness. If you are the best in the world at something, that sector will grow for you. The recipe for national success is compete vigorously at home to develop best in class capabilities, to then be able to win abroad [consider semiconductor examples such as Korea with Hynix and Samsung competition, Taiwan with UMC and TSMC competition, US with Intel and AMD competition]. One national flag bearer (especially if enjoying government help) leads to failure on an international scale. The Chinese culture you describe of setting up fighting at home on page 129, should serve them very well if applied to the national economic scene.

Most striking is the difference in time horizon and patience between the US and China. It’s evident not just in Americans’ willingness to go into long-term debt to fund short-term consumption, but it is also clear in the union contracts that prevail in troubled American industries and government (just another example of foisting long-term debt onto future generations in exchange for some short-term perk such as political support).

While the US might be very competitive in some industries, this will at best lead to a two-class tier society over time. Not everyone in the US has the talent to pursue medical research advances or other intellectually demanding paths. So what about the rest of the population – what happens with them over time? What happens with the Midwest manufacturing towns that cannot compete with China? Seems to me that these are lost causes – retrain the existing skillset and discourage future generations from heading down the same path.

Is the best talent in the US largely pursuing economically value additive careers for the country? Absolutely NOT! I remember taking a senior class in EE at MIT where the professor asked everyone intending to remain in EE or a related field upon graduation to raise their hands. About one third raised their hands. The professor was surprised that so many raised their hands as historically the ratio was closer to 1 in 5. The most reliably lucrative career paths in the US go through law school or Wall Street. That is where talent gets sucked into! Neither of those industries generate any net value add for the economy whatsoever. [I may be the kettle calling the tea pot black on this one as I departed for business school...]

Now I understand why the government banned your book in China. I never stopped to think how much of China’s system relies upon the perception of the people that the government is doing a competent job and creating a successful future for the country. It is all about perception. If that changes or people realize it is a perception game that is being managed, then watch out!

Education, as a responsibility to give back to your family and future generations, is key. In the US, this drives the second generation immigrant population’s success and a small percentage of the middle class success. In China, this drives an entire nation!

I admire this work and your career. You ask exactly the right questions, seek out the data you need, and then apply a very direct and straightforward business analysis to arrive at powerful conclusions. It seems like a simple recipe, and yet through and through in this book, and the IBS work I have seen, you seem to do this brilliantly while others (whether it is others like Gartner or other authors) get lost. I hope to have the opportunity to continue to learn from you.

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