The vast majority of Americans have absolutely no idea how advanced China has become. Perusing social media comments by Americans, it's clear that too many of them are burdened by misinformation and prejudice. "China is 100 years behind"... "All Chinese products are crap" ... "China can't innovate" ... "It's a communist, poor, polluted country" ... and, of course, the most popular: "China's economy is about to collapse." Furthermore, people reinforce their biases by gleefully sharing only anti-China articles. Anything remotely positive about China is attacked as "Chinese propaganda."

This is a potent mix of ignorance, hubris and xenophobia. No wonder that Trump supporters were so confident of a trade deal in which Xi Jinping would surrender unconditionally and quickly. While it's true that China as whole has a long way to go to in terms of GDP-per-capita, many big cities in China are essentially "developed economies." And China has surpassed the US in many areas and is closing in rapidly in other areas.

If you don't know your competitor, you're certain to lose the game. So here are some quick statistics on China's global leadership: What should the US do? Try to "contain" China? Start World War III to maintain our global hegemony? Become depressed and paranoid? Thankfully, the answer to all those questions is "NO." There are constructive things that America can and should do to prepare for a future where it is no longer the global hegemon. I will discuss those in my next article.