China Vs. United States: A Visual Tale Of Two Economies

Tyler Durden's picture

The United States has had the world’s largest economy for about 140 years, and it roughly accounts for 22% of global GDP. However, in recent times China has overtaken the US by at least one measure of total economic strength, which is GDP based on purchasing power parity (PPP).

Either way you slice it, the economies are the two strongest globally in absolute terms.

That’s where the similarities end. While comparable in total size, the makeup of each economy is totally different. United States is a sophisticated and highly diversified economy that is based on services, finance, and consumption from the middle class. China has similar aspirations in the future, but right now it is resource-intensive growth engine making the transition from a manufacturing hub to a consumer-driven economy.

Today’s infographic looks at the economic differences between each country: total reserves, foreign direct investment, demographics, imports, exports, GDP per capita, energy, education, and much more.


For a larger version of this infographic, click here.

Original graphic by: SCMP

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Latina Lover's picture

"That’s where the similarities end. While comparable in total size, the makeup of each economy is totally different. United States is a sophisticated and highly diversified economy that is based on services, finance, and consumption from the middle class. China has similar aspirations in the future, but right now it is resource-intensive growth engine making the transition from a manufacturing hub to a consumer-driven economy."

In other words, China produces real things while the USSA creates derivatives and calls that wealth. Amerika is the worlds mouth, eating everything and somehow this is creating wealth. Cut off debt creation, and you will find out very quickly what is real, and what isn't.

Crocodile's picture

Why another ponzi scheme that can easily be and is manipulated and created by Central Planners.  If they, the Central Planner Corporations approve it everywhere and they are, then you know they feel very comfy with it for a reason; they know how to control it regardless of what the Bitcoin community believes to the contrary.  It is PM's they hate for the public to have, but stock pile it for themselves at individual levels.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Crocodile Oct 17, 2015 9:07 PM

Debasing your currency to make yourself "more attractive to the investors" seems to have been merely a strategy of making the currency instruments of "the investors" worth more.  Labor could take a lesson from this when we are constantly shamed for being "overpriced".  Now be good little victims and put on some extra rouge and lipstick.  The nice investors are paying a visit to your bedroom tonight, you entitled overpaid ungrateful little proletariat! 

Motasaurus's picture

There was a time that lobster was considered so shit that inmates went on hunger strikes to avoid having to eat it. Then came a marketting campaign and all of a sudden the disgusting "sea cocroaches" became a delicacy. With enough marketting you'd line up for an hour to get at some nice rotweiler ribs in a feline dipping sauce.

TongueStun's picture
TongueStun (not verified) Motasaurus Oct 18, 2015 8:03 AM





If both parties are really the same, why doesn't the socialist jew media bother to put anti-democrat propaganda into children's comic books?


Go ahead and down arrow, it will be a count how many ZH'ers know I am right, but are just too cowardly to answer the question.



tarabel's picture



Slippery Jim. You finally escaped from the Kekkonshiki.

junction's picture

The United States is now a RICO enterprise, modeled after Chicago in the 1920s when the Mafia ran that city.  Anything goes, murder for hire by FBI agents, dope dealing by the DEA, poisonous new drugs and vaccines approved by the FDA.  Criminal activity the media knows they better ignore lest their star reporters wind up in flaming car wrecks.  Obama is a president with no CV before the age of 20, with doctored photos galore and an autobiography written by CIA undercover agent Bill Ayres.  I wonder how many of those hedge fund billionaires are actually figureheads, fronts whose riches are owned by America's NWO dictators. 

Umh's picture

He is living proof that you can start with nothing and get ahead in the U.S. Well, then you can erase down to nothing and get ahead.

order66's picture

Great info graphic. But only if you believe those GDP numbers are real. Which they're not. That shit's running negative.

Nexus789's picture

GDP is a poor measure of national well being. The person that came up with the measure in the 30's warned against its use in the manner it is currently being use (its simplistic so I guess that is why politicians like it). The problem is that it includes all types of transactions and those associated with financial transactions - debt creation. I think the size of the US and UK economies are 'inflated'. I like to call them soufflé economies.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Here's the real GDP. Multiply the average income by the number of workers ... that's about $4T.  Subtract taxes, and mandated spending. You get about $3T of real economic value.  The government spends $4T. 

GMadScientist's picture

The workers generate more than they are being paid; it's the primary tenet of capitalism.

And you need to be careful to not count government job 'income' (that is sourced from the taxes you subtracted).

GMadScientist's picture

Yep, like judging one's personal economic success solely by how many frequent-flyer miles have been accumulated.

I'm not sure I buy the PPP argument either, which is basically saying, "Oh yeah, we'll we've got a strong economy AND we can treat our people like whipped dogs and get away with it"

tarabel's picture



I often wonder if people around here buy anything that doesn't run on batteries. The whole "China rules the world in manufacturing" meme is clearly on the way out the door.

In my business and personal life, I buy a wide range of products and I ALWAYS check country of origin. What I've seen is a tidal wave of Chinese products that flood an industry, drive everyone out of business, and then flicker out due to their constant and outstandingly poor quality. Nobody buys Chinese twice if they can possibly avoid it. How about you? Are you in that camp?

So, for example, I've seen the Chinese tidal wave of buiding products crash onshore. Lumber, wire goods, drywall. And then, poof, all gone. Hardware? Not gone yet but less and less Chinese product as a proportion of the goods on the shelves every month. Food? I've seen Chinese apples and canned mushrooms on the shelves-- or at least I used to. Toothpaste?

I went to Walmart, fuckin Walmart, for a spool of thread and had to look and look and look just out of curiosity. Not one single spool of Chinese thread in the entire store.

Auto parts? Chinese items are still on the shelves but there is now ALWAYS a US made alternative in stock since nobody wants to put non-functional items on their vehicles. Chinese stuff is always designed to barely clear the bottom edge of the engineering band and it is so poorly made that it typically fails to meet even this deceitful standard of "excellence".

Now it may be that the EU (China's #1 customer) is taking up the slack but the Sino-Crap wave has long ago crested in the United States. As a result, I don't find it that hard to believe that raw material imports in China are collapsing, or that export numbers are padded with ways in which to get capital out of China, or that the smart money is beating feet out of this manufacturing powerhouse of the world and streaking for the allegedly-collapsing West.

Chinese manufacturing is a one-and-done Ponzi scheme that is running out of not-yet-wised-up customers worldwide. No wonder they are always trying to open up new markets. They have to have something to replace the vanished demand in places they have already burnt out. But it's going to take a hundred Silk Roads to cover the gap, and that ain't happening. Domestic spending in China? We already know how much money unemployed factory workers spend-- and we have a welfare state shoveling money into their maws. Ergo, Big Trouble in increasingly Little China.

post turtle saver's picture

yeah, but this is ZH, where Russia and Iran are the great liberators of the Middle East, fiercely defiant in the face of the Great Satan... where China is going to make the capitalist pig-dogs run in fear with a mere twitch over the treasury sell button, where the USA is pathetically weak, incompetent, and useless and should be pushed aside so that the blossoming new utopia of Pax PRC can finally grow freely and embrace the world in its loving, gentle arms...

this place is living proof that the War on Drugs was a complete failure, since most who post here have to be high on something to believe that horseshit is true...

farmerbraun's picture

Well done , that was true horseshit.

Motasaurus's picture

Perhaps the reason "shitty" Chinese MFGs are less prevalent in the US (and elsewhere) is because they've stopped making shitty goods. I remember when "Made in Korea" was the stamp of a piece of shit that would fail. My dad remembers "Made in Japan" the same way. 

Maybe, just maybe, Chinese manufacturing standards have increased, and as a result their customer base has changed, so they no longer need to export millions of tonnes of garbage to an over-indebted US consumer (who can't buy it now anyway).  

Max Steel's picture

And you dumbass muritards cant accept the truth perhaps? US is the oppressor .

TongueStun's picture
TongueStun (not verified) post turtle saver Oct 18, 2015 8:10 AM

"Post Terdle Saver"....


Short on facts, long on socialist jew Saul Alinsky Rules for Radicals Name Calling, Ridicule, Lying and Personal Attacks.


In short, just another ObowelMovement leftist.

mijev's picture

Agreed about the crap you find in Walmart TB but their high-speed trains are awesome, even compared with Japan and Europe. And then there's the terrain they run them through, which is also mind-boggling.

farmerbraun's picture

Not so sure about that . I have a Chinese copy Perkins diesel driving a Chinese copy Stamford generator - can't fault them and the price was great , complete with some spares.

Just bought a Chinese petrol water blaster , again excellent value.
Chinese diesel engines in two of my tractors show signs of rivaling British Leyland diesels for simplicity and value.
I'm sure there is crap , but industrial equipment looks fine.

Demdere's picture

Do I not recall that Japan exported crap after the war?  Korea also when it got started in the export game?  Hong Kong ditto?

Britain's cars were shit, once upon a time.  Etc.  They all improved, and Japan taught the world about quality after a few years.

Everyone thinks static.

post turtle saver's picture

you do realize that every single one of those started improving when they embraced US manufacturing techniques and standards, right?

especially so in Japan and Korea, where Deming is worshipped as a major deity... and, where the kids get sent to major US universities to learn...

Demdere's picture

Yes, but the US didn't embrace Deming until forced to do so by the Japanese.  The Japanese pioneered many statistical methods for QA, and invented JIT, Kaizen, ...

The Japanese dominance of auto manufacturing was earned.

NubianSundance's picture

Interesting post tarabel, but too much of a generalisation. A lot of hi end stuff is manufactured in China and works well and lasts for years. It's also not so cheap. For example, A good Quad stereo speaker system inc 300w sub is around 2000 bucks, made in China but you wouldnt know to hear it or look at it.

The old adage applies, you get what you pay for.

Kayman's picture


3 FYH (Japan) bearings arrived yesterday.  2 have no country of origin- obviously a chinese copy. Sending them back.

The USA, through the bought-and-paid-for Clintons got China into the WTO so WallyMart had cheap crap for sale. Otherwise China would still be back in the 12th century.

yogibear's picture

"In other words, China produces real things while the USSA creates derivatives and calls that wealth. Amerika is the worlds mouth, eating everything and somehow this is creating wealth. Cut off debt creation, and you will find out very quickly what is real, and what isn't."

In other words the US consumes and manufactures debt whereas China manufactures good the rest of the world uses.

The United States is the roach of the world.

John_Coltrane's picture

Where was the most significant comparison, namely, firearms and ammo in private unregistered hands?  I believe its probably somewhere around 300M (conservatively) for the US and maybe 10? for China?  And seriously, given the pollution in China and the total comforming culture, would anyone want to live there?  Is there such a thing as a Chinese libertarian.  And their obsession with Rhino horns and Ivory are leading to depopulation of both species in Africa.  Would even the Chinese want to live there if they had the economic capacity to live elsewhere?

Demdere's picture

Your abillity to summarize a complex world in so few word leaves us speechless in awe.

The central planners's picture

China will get to that dumping T-bill by t-bill slow but sure.

rsnoble's picture

Considering how things in the US are going, perhaps China should just stick to making shit.

jcdenton's picture

This can be completely reversed in about a year or two .. (Read Me First)

The architect here, quite the expert on China. He worked hand in hand with their intel services ..

A Lunatic's picture

The sooner we get robots making all of our shit, the sooner we can ALL consume, 24fucking7/365......

Nexus789's picture

That assumes people will have an income to spend on all the splend robot produce products.

HenryHall's picture

Those who own the robots will have the income.

Yen Cross's picture

 The United States has almost $62 trillion in unfunded liabilities. The PBoC has a debt to GDP ratio of over 300% vs the stated 105% of the United States. Assuming the population disparity/ roughly 1:5 based on contiguous landmass, the PBoC/PRoC has some problems.

 I think it's fairly safe to assume, China is on an "expansionist" policy decorum.


  I think that FINRA failed.

 FINRA is a joke, and will NEVER succeed. I've spoken to Bankers and Politicians about this.

 FINRA was the United States failed attempt at global monetary control. [e.g, hidden nationalism]

Crocodile's picture

Why would China want to use the US blueprint; it is that failed blueprint that China has the primary beneficiary.  Who will be the next source of slave-type labor if China followed that blueprint; the US.?!

Fahque Imuhnutjahb's picture

Shhhhh!  You're gonna spoil the surprise!!

RadioactiveRant's picture

Africa will be the next China, 1.1bn people mainly in rural poverty. Instead gifting China access to Western markets with WTO membership Clinton would have been better to invest in an equally poor but more importantly fragmented Africa. The various nations in Africa could have bid against each other for investment and never individually grown strong enough to challenge the US.

TongueStun's picture
TongueStun (not verified) RadioactiveRant Oct 18, 2015 8:15 AM

Can the indigenous peoples with an average sub 72 IQ really manufacture stuff? I mean grass huts, and sharpened sticks, and bleaching their hair with bull urine yes......but anything else?

rejected's picture

China wants to be a con-sumer driven economy like the ussa where over half the population lives off the other half.

After looking at the mess a con-sumer driven economy has made of the ussa why on earth would they want to do that?

Aquarius's picture

The Major difference between these Two Nations is that:


China: This Nation's economy is EXPANDING - rapidly and surely and founded in Respect and Global Peace


USA: Nothing but CONTRACTION: all but dead. The USA has reached peak Maximum Entropy due to its Policies of exporting Death, Polluton, Bullshit, and Destruction


Ho hum

Yen Cross's picture

China's economy is /was export based.

China's economy is contracting, and the government of China is trying to strengthen the Yuan in order to make imports more affordable for an internally consumptive economy. [1.4 billion minus .001%, usless eaters]


Aquarius's picture

China's expansion is not dependent upon Wall Street charteology. It is founded on leadership that acts as a stimulous; Through diplomatic, political formal trade arranngments with other Nations, China is making available to its self and to its new Parters, not only resource for raw materials but also creating new resources for all Parties, through training, education, construction, human resources, for all Parties to benefit from. This is expansion.

China's Expansion is also not dependent upon the MSM, which most of the World is now ignoring as unadulterated trash bullshit aka crap; and lousy crap as well. Anything from the USA stated as fact is now treated as just garbage. Did you lister to Obama's speech as the USA. Many vomited in disgust.

The USA sees only Oil and Gas; control by supression; exports of Pollution, arms, drugs, torture, and warfare. The USA has no diplomacy; The USA has only its Military, blackmail and corruption.For God's sake they also murder and torture their own citizens - by Law and Presidential Decree. There is an ancient proverb that states that once a Republican Nation is ruled by Decree; it falls.

Whereas in complimentary accord, the US Economists believe that enriching the Bankers with the weath created by the unorganised pproductivity classes, ie the unwashed, that this is "stimulation". But it is not, it is just a criminal act, that will and has destroyed the USA. And they have had about 8 years at this, that is, their latest wet-dreams and still cannot make headway.

Remember Larry Summer's statement many years ago about the US strength being derived from exporting Pollution? To be more accurate he should have said, Cancer, in lieu of Pollution.

No, China is expanding and the USA is contracting.



Yen Cross's picture



  •  You're getting there.

 1] No One stated China's obvious deflation had anything to do with exports, imports, or $UST.

 2] China is finding itself in  THE diplomatic "wild west'. in terms of negotiating deals.

 3] Contrary to popular beliefs, the Chinese feel just about the same about their corrupt .gov as we Amerikans.


Dr. Bonzo's picture

What a load of horseshit.

China: This Nation's economy is EXPANDING - rapidly and surely and founded in Respect and Global Peace

Even China apologists are in agreement the Chinese have basically leveraged the printing press and cheap labor against the dollar for the last 30 years. What the fuck are you smoking?

As to to the rest of your tripe... Tibet, Xinjaing, Vietnam, India and soon all the neighbors in the Spratleys are living proof the Chinese aren't the cuddling fuzzy bamboo chewing pandas you make them out to be. Ruthless neo mercantilism plain and simple. This leadership regime still has the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution on its resume. It's like applauding the Nazis for getting through WWII unscathed. You people have lost your fucking minds.

The Chinese ascendency, or what passes for it, based on leveraging slave labor and money printing, rampant copyright and trademark infringement marks a near 100-years regression back to the bad old days of the 19th century. This is not history rising, but civilization collapsing.

As to the pathetic state of the US. That's on us. I wish there were someone like a hypothetical Donald Trump who meant what he said and said what he meant, but I've grown too cynical to believe a fucking word of it. Does that mean I'm going to rise to my feet applauding the Chinese like they're mankind's salvation? Give me a fucking BREAK.