Most Americans believe China is A) woefully behind America in innovation and creativity, and B) their K-12 education system perpetuates that problem, and therefore C) America's economy and standard of living is not at risk in the 21st century.
I do NOT subscribe to any of points A, B or C above. I have seen first hand that Chinese people can be highly creative and I have invested in several globally innovative Chinese companies - e.g. - BYD Electric Auto.
The Chinese are playing a brilliant game right now in global warming, industrial growth and clean-tech - regardless of your ethical standards their cunning is to be admired.
Pleading to the OECD that "we are but a developing country", the Chinese continue to strip the earth of raw materials and build high-carbon polluting factories. When challenged, their retort is "the West has done this for over a century, don't try to hold China back with your new morality" - a valid argument.
When asked to adopt new, cleaner technologies from the West, the Chinese reply is, "we are but a poor country, the wealthy West should help us pay to use these technologies." Since the west insists on referring to China as a developing country - our arguments are hollow.
Finally, where do the Chinese put their advanced R&D money and manpower resources in this field - they are pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into CLEAN-TECH - fully realizing they can't sustain the polluting system of today and using the dodge of "help us pay" as a head fake to distract and befuddle
China is taking the lead in innovation and in manufacture of green technologies at a pace that exceeds every other country on earth. Thomas Friedman captures this in todays' NY Times article The New Sputnik.
From now on, we should think of Communist China not as RED but as Green: