In July of 2001, Gordon Chang predicted an inevitable meltdown of the Chinese Communist Party in his best-selling book The Coming Collapse of China. Since then, China’s economy has increased by more than eightfold, to surpass even the United States on a purchasing parity power basis. Oops?
In Chang’s defense, he could not have anticipated the colossal blunder of President Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress in paving China’s ruthlessly mercantilist way into the World Trade Organization just five months after his book was published. That mother of all unfair trade deals—a well-deserved target of both the Sanders and Trump presidential campaigns—kept China’s Great Walls of Protectionism largely intact. However, it also opened U.S. markets to a flood of illegally subsidized Chinese imports, and catalyzed the offshoring of millions of American manufacturing jobs.