Outsourcing to the US?

Despite all the fear over China offering cheap products and manufacturing, a recent meeting between SpaceX and China Great Wall Industrial Corp. revealed that the American company can launch a payload into orbit cheaper.  A shift in US-Chinese space policy in 1999 has all but stopped the trade between the US and China in space products, but an unnamed Chinese official commented that even if the Long March launch vehicle could carry a US satellite, they couldn’t do it cheaper than SpaceX’s quoted prices for the Falcon 9.

Unfortunately, US-Chinese relations have cooled even further with current focus on budget deficits.  The latest US 2011 fiscal compromise package forbids NASA and the White House cooperating with China, even public funds being used to host Chinese visitors to any NASA facility.

Source: Aviation Week

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“Made in China” just like 500 years ago

Although some seems to think that the “end on an era of ultra-cheap Chinese exports” is upon us, still pretty much everything you buy nowadays is stamped with the mark “Made in China”, at least somewhere along the lines. You might think that this is a relatively recent phenomenon. But even with the modern economic boom, China had a much greater share of the world’s GDP 500 years ago.

The graph above shows the share of GDP over the last 500 years for China, India, Japan, Latin America, Western Europe, and United States. (Keep in mind that the change in population size will effect the size of the GDP)

The graph below shows the share of GDP over the last 500 years for China, India, Japan, Latin America, Western Europe, and United States. (Keep in mind that the change in population size will effect the size of the GDP)