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As China and the United States engage in their latest trade tussle, most economists take it as given that China will achieve global economic supremacy in the long run, no matter what happens now. After all, with four times as many people as the U.S., and a determined program to catch up after centuries of technological stagnation, isn't it inevitable that China will decisively take over the mantle of economic hegemon?Here, the current trend toward higher concentration of power and control in the central government, as opposed to the private sector, could hamstring China as the global economy reaches higher stages of development.The possibility that China might never supplant the U.S. as the world's economic hegemon is the flip side of the technology and inequality problem. While China, unlike the Soviet Union, has shown vastly more competence in homegrown innovation – Chinese companies are already leading the way in the next generation of 5G mobile networks – and its cyberwarfare capacity is fully on par with the U.S., keeping close to the cutting edge is not the same thing as defining it.China might lead the digital future if the U.S. drops the ball, but it won't become the dominant global power simply because it has a larger population.
of a progressive consumption tax
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