I quoted Lou Schwartz of China Strategies in an earlier post on wind power, and I found what he said so fascinating that I placed a call to him just now to ask him more about his overall take on China generally. In particular, I asked about American perceptions of China: What are they? What should they be?
He said that conversations with Americans about China — even with extremely well educated people — usually gravitate quickly to everything that’s wrong with the country: foreign exchange, trade deficits, pollution. There is very little sense for what the Chinese call “shuang ying” or “dual win” (“win-win” as we might put it).
When I asked for a good example, Lou pointed to the very article that I posted earlier on the $1.5 billion Texas wind project. Senator (Charles E. “Chuck”) Shumer (D-NY) says he’s going to try to block this project, because it’s partially funded with stimulus money. “It hurts to hear that,” Lou said. “China is spending huge amounts of money on renewable energy, ultimately more than the US, and will be embarking on enormous projects for environmental remediation that will use money and expertise from companies all over the globe. If we can embrace this spirit of shuang ying, there will be huge opportunities for American companies. Shortsighted thinking like this hurts everyone – including our own interests.
I’m looking forward to working with Lou as a 2GreenEnergy associate. I constantly come across the need for answers about the realities of doing business in China, and I’m thrilled to have found this resource.