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What is America?

America and China have emerged as the most dynamic, aggressive and influential countries in the 21st century. The two countries share diverse approach towards administering some of the basic tenets in society such as infrastructure, education, agriculture and the economy. While China stands out as one of the largest trading allies of America, The USA is renowned for its economic dominance and political superiority.

Economic comparisons

In terms of economic size, the American economy is almost twice as big as that of China. Studies done in 2010 estimated the GDP size for China to be at $5.745 trillion while that of USA stood at $14.6 trillion. In the face of a massive population, China has managed to “control its’ unemployment rate to 4.30% which is a stark contrast to the American unemployment rate which stood at 9.7%” (Wu & Davidson 18). The high population density within urban areas in China has resulted in a large labor force of “about 700 million skilled and semi-skilled workers as compared to a meager 154 million workers in the United States” (Karabell 18).

Most of the workers in China are employed in the manufacturing sector that is made up of vehicle manufactures and assemblers, computer manufacturers and other related technologies. In the consumption of revenue, China is also slightly more extravagant when compared to the USA in spending its yearly revenues that leads to higher deficits. Therefore, the public debt when calculated using the proportion of GDP is elevated in the U.S. as compared to China. However, in terms of external debt, “America is leading with over $14 trillion that is enormous considering the Chinese debt is only $406 billion” (Wu & Davidson 26). The leading sector in China happens to be the automobile sector that is supported by their lower oil consumption.

Cost of living

The different factors that influence the cost of living in these two countries can be summed up to be limited to the following: consumer prices, rent prices, restaurant, groceries and local purchasing power. Of all these parameters used to analyze the cost of living, America leads in all of them that can be interpreted to mean that the cost of living in the USA is considerable higher than in China. The average meals in American restaurants are between 20 to 100% more expensive than in China. In the sale of basic commodities such as vegetables, bread and water, America had an increase in cost that reached about 120 % more than the prices in China (Wu & Davidson 31). The cost of transport was similarly more expensive in America with the only respite being expensive foreign vehicles and apparel in China than in America.

Cultural comparisons

In comparing the cultures of the two countries, there is a collectivist culture in China while the American culture favors individualism. Chinese people place a higher value on individual reservation and cooperating with other people in a group. Consequently, in America, the people place a greater value on relying on their own efforts and abilities. They choose to promote themselves rather than the society and this is propagated further by the extensive freedoms and rights. Others harbor patriotic feelings to an extent that can only be characterized as fanatic for example claiming, “What is more American than fighting for a government “of the people, by the people, for the people” through our right to peacefully assemble and petition the government…” (Griffith 17). The social relationships between the Chinese are hierarchical, structured and official.

Each citizen knows their place in society and strives to conform to the customs that apply in it. Conversely, Americans are more informal and unrestricted and place less value on social rankings. The society in China is very conscious of the role that regulations and policies play in their lives. Chinese have great faith in interpersonal connections more than conventional written rules of interactions while Americans stress the importance of complying with all the written rules to shape their country into a fair and just territory. Lastly, in China, a person’s status is determined by the inherited traits such as gender, age or family while in America, the achievements of an individual determine their social status.

Educational comparison

In a phenomenon that is very different from the Western world particularly in America, children in China are denied the freedom of choosing the subjects they prefer to study. Instead, the Chinese education ministry adopted a standardized syllabus and issued similar textbooks that were compiled and published by the government. In America, the freedom to choose what to learn starts as early as elementary levels. The syllabus for the Chinese schools are also more complex in that students are expected to do more intricate work such as research projects. In contrast, American instructors supported students in find individual answers to their academic challenges in the classroom.

The head instructor in one of the top education centers in America commented that “…teachers expressed the thought of humanism in the form of questions, and assisted students them to concentrate on the destiny of men. They instructed the children on ways to deal with complex questions…” (Griffith 28). The high population of children in China introduces an aspect of competition for limited learning opportunities. Children go through entrance examinations for most of the levels. In America, the smaller population and advanced infrastructure allow nearly all students to go to school.

The Future

Both these two great nations have a great potential in how they shape their futures. China is considered an emerging superpower with a great economic base. It could therefore replace America as the sole nation that determines the economic shift in global business. However, a political and cultural power shift from the United States is unlikely, since this nation is still considered as the major powerhouse in determining many global occurrences as it has its interests spread on a diverse spectrum. If China is determined to have a global influence, it has to demonstrate a tolerance to the ideals that the rest of the world has in its political, social and economic systems.


The economic and educational difference and strategy between China and America originates not only from their conflicting national demands but also from the difference in their cultural predispositions. The methods of doing business, the personal attitudes and the general conduct within the two countries is largely dictated by the elements and events encapsulated in their culture and traditions.

Work Cited

Griffith, Robert. Major Problems in American History since 1945. S.l.: Wadsworth, 2013. Print

Karabell, Zachary. Superfusion: How China and America Became One Economy and Why the World’s Prosperity Depends on It. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009. Print

Wu, Jiyun, and D K. Davidson. “The Business-Government-Society Relationship: a Comparison between China and the Us.” Journal of Management Development. 30.1 (2011): 112-125. Print

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