Zachary Karabell, president of River Twice Research, is one of the few original thinkers out there who also has a sense of humor. So there’s more than one? Zach has brought his considerable talents to bear on the current state of the Chinese-American relationship in a new book, Superfusion: How China and American became One Economy and Why the World’s Prosperity Depends On It. International trade has fused the two countries into a single economic unit that accounts for a quarter of the world’s population and a third of its GDP, despite wildly different cultures, much like the loose confederation that makes up the European Community. The Middle Kingdom now has reserves of $2.3 trillion, which is overwhelmingly invested in the US. Where else can it go? That enabled them to step up and play an important role in the bail out of the US financial system this year. But it is an imbalanced agglomeration, with Americans over consuming and under saving and the Chinese doing the reverse. This has to stop, lest the symbiotic relationship tears itself apart. The tit for tat, storm in a tea cup, where the US imposed punitive import duties on Chinese tires and the they retaliated with a ban on American chicken feet (yes, they eat them, yuk!), is a recent example. The reality is that old, boring industries that once might have fought tooth and nail for protection are now migrating to China en masse and finding new life. Bet you didn’t know that General Motors sells more cars in China than in the US, some 1.6 million this year? Don’t hold your breath waiting for China to float the Yuan, as it is one of the few tools that give the Mandarins in Beijing direct control of a huge, disparate economy. Chinese military spending is so parsimonious that it won’t remotely comprise a threat to the US. What little they have is directed at potential regional aggressors, like Japan, India, and Russia. The greatest risk to the existing relationship is that Chinese growth continues so rapid, that it pits them against the world in resource bidding wars, which could get ugly. With crude at $82 and copper at $3, has that already started? The book is well worth a read for some excellent “out of the box” analysis. Does anyone have any good recipes for chicken feet?