Economic Strategy and National Security: A Next Generation Approach

By Patrick J. DeSouza | Go to book overview

mental and labor standards, corrupt practice limitations, and lack of government subsidized financing. For each of these reasons, the national benefits achieved are thought to exceed the sum of the costs incurred by individual enterprises.

The business community also may point out that China's middle market organizations may be neither the most efficient purchasers and suppliers of goods nor the most efficient operators of industrial organizations. Even if a statistical basis for such a conclusion exists, the argument is outweighed by the longer-term contributions made by middle-market enterprises to their societies. These contributions are recognized and fostered by governmental policies from Japan to the European Union. To be sure, the approaches in these regions are different from that of the United States and rely less on cultivating civil society and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, we see little compelling evidence that China's domestic policies will contradict a strong role for middle-market enterprises.

Finally, the business community may be expected to focus on the anticipated administrative difficulties in defining standards and in measuring results. However, the United States' success in analogous domestic programs provides some guidelines. Initially, definitions should be simple and compliance should be measured by a company's inputs into the middle market system in China. For example, useful criteria would include a company's identifiable volume of business with middle-market suppliers and purchasers, its inclusion of middle-market companies in joint ventures, and the number of licenses entered into with middle-market licensees.


Conclusion

Gary Hart, earlier in this volume, invoked "civic virtue and citizen participation" as the basis for a new ideology for the next generation of policymakers in the United States. Such elements will perhaps enable Americans to think about policy development in ways that will meet twenty-first century challenges brought on by technologies and tribalism. Some of that same civil society spirit could be helpful in our approach to China.

U.S. policymakers must recognize several points. First, China is poised to rise to a position of global prominence in this century. Second, the United States does not have, and is unlikely to estab

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