In the aftermath of the financial crash of 2008, commentators speculated that the relative buoyancy of China's economy signaled the onset of an epochal shift of world power from West to East. This article considers the evidence by reviewing the state of the Sino-American economic relationship against the backdrop of the urgency of action on climate change. The lead established by Chinese companies in the clean technology sectors underpins the PRC's primacy in the alternative fuel economy, but political and social need for a high GDP growth rate is irreconcilable with the demand for decarbonization. By contrast, U.S. efforts to jumpstart a green industrial revolution are stymied by political resistance from oil and gas lobbies, and the longterm recovery of its economic dominance as a trade super power is in doubt. The initiative lies with Beijing, thrust, once again, into the role of making history under conditions not of its own making.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)