Think of this as Volume 16, Number 4 of A-Clue.com, the online newsletter I've written since 1997. Enjoy.
He cemented the alliance between China and the United States.
He did this by making money for both, through cooperative development of his iOS line. As he told the President, you can't make this in the U.S. We don't have the human infrastructure and logistics to produce, say, 37 million iPhones and 15.4 million iPads in one 90-day period, box them and and ship them, the way China can.
On the other hand, China lacks the software and marketing imagination needed to move that merchandise in countries around the world. It lacks the branding. Even the Chinese people know the difference between a real Apple Store and a Chinese knock-off. They will pay a premium for the real thing. And Apple, today, sits on $96.7 billion in cash.
Thus we have a symbiotic relationship, one that other companies can exploit, one that benefits the people and governments on both sides of the trade. Historically it's an important moment.
This has benefited China immensely. They have been able to keep what their armies took, Tibet, but they have taken the rest of what they wanted territorially without firing a shot. Taiwan just elected a leader dedicated to the slow absorption of his nation, Macau is going through an unprecedented boom, and Hong Kong is now the tip of a greater co-prosperity sphere that stretches right up the Pearl River Delta. And speaks English.
What folks don't yet credit is that this benefits the U.S. too. We're not getting the kind of Great Power pushback on our oil imperialism we got a generation ago, because opening those markets to oil exploration is in China's interest as much as it is ours. And companies like Apple, which design and market here but manufacture there, are going through an economic boom that makes the dot-com bubble look like something you'd find in a Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola is a big part of this story, by the way. Coca-Cola, McDonald's, WalMart, and brands like them have created a global American culture, one that speaks English and has similar desires for a better, peaceful life. I saw this when I visited China in 2009.
The closest analog to what we have now is the U.S.-English detente that began after the War of 1812. But it's not similar at all. Because the world was different then, it wasn't a single global market.
No, it's not all going to be kumbaya. But both sides have a peace dividend right now, if they choose to seize it. And people on both sides now have opportunities to grow closer together, as individuals, in ways that can truly cement an enduring global peace.