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Op-Ed: Fixing America will require Trump to be bold, and work with China

By Curtis Stone (People's Daily Online)    15:03, December 30, 2016

In U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s book, Great Again, he said, “You go to countries like China...and you look at their train systems and their public transport. It’s so much better. We’re like a third-world country.” Despite his tough talk, Trump admires China for its GDP growth and for its infrastructure investment and engineering. He sees that, while America is aging and falling behind in certain areas, China is growing and moving forward. The U.S. can learn from China on infrastructure building, and benefit from its successes.

China is leading the world in infrastructure investment and engineering. China’s Beipan River bridge, which connects Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, is a 4,400-feet-long cable-stayed suspension bridge that hangs 1,854 feet in the sky. That is equivalent to 200 stories, roughly the height of four Trump Tower’s stacked.

Another example is Guizhou’s high-speed railway bridge connecting Shanghai and Kunming. This amazing achievement caught the attention of some foreign scholars. Duke University Professor Ralph Litzinger (@BeijingNomad) said, “Serious infrastructure investment in China. Makes the [U.S.] look like a backward country.” Kingston University Professor Steve Keen (@ProfSteveKeen) called it an example of China’s impressive engineering and said Trump “could learn a lot from [China] about infrastructure planning.”

America may be the contemporary example on building a great country, but China is the contemporary example on rebuilding a great country. The two massive bridges in Guizhou are a tiny example of China’s strength in infrastructure investment and engineering. No other country in the world has lifted more than double the size of America’s entire population out of poverty in such a short period of time. Since then, China has opened the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and is building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. These are massive cooperation projects, and the hallmark of modern-day China. Meanwhile, America cannot even realize high-speed rail after years and years of planning. Rather than bash China, perhaps America should learn from and work with China.

Trump wants to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure upgrades in America to rebuild the nation and put people back to work. The problem is how to pay for it and how to do it. China knows how to fund and carry out serious infrastructure building, and deep-pocketed Chinese investors want to invest billions more in America. One way for Trump to realize his plan would be to use Chinese funds and technology. This would help return some of America’s investment in China back to America for the benefit of America, and strengthen the bilateral relationship. Trump’s plan to rebuild America is bold, but it remains to be seen if he will be bold enough to do what is best for America.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Wu Chengliang, Bianji)

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