The slogan "Made in China" has never been more significant. This column aims to explain what China's growing influence means in the lives of Americans -- from politicians working on Capitol Hill to moms and dads raising children just off Main Street.
China owns a booming economy, an ambitious space program, and mountains of foreign currency reserves. More Chinese are getting university educations and learning English than ever before in the country's long history.
No longer just the "world's factory," China is now a political and cultural force on the global stage.
The country's leaders are making allies in Africa, a continent full of valuable natural resources. The country's people are exporting art, movies and media. The author's firm belief is that China should be understood -- not feared, and that increased understanding will bring increased opportunities to further American interests.