Given Chinas modern infrastructure, wise leadership, sound financial position and compelling five-year plans, it is time for the US to wake up and make big changes to put the US back on track, said Robert J. Herbold, the former chief operating officer of Microsoft Corporation, in an article on the website of The Wall Street Journal on July 9, 2011. Infrastructure: Compared with the decaying Los Angeles, with its cramped, dirty and small airport, the infrastructure in the major Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing is absolutely state-of-the-art and relatively new, said Herbold. The airports in Beijing and Shanghai are brand new, clean and incredibly spacious, with friendly, courteous staff galore. They are extremely well-designed to handle the large volume of air traffic needed to carry out global business these days. Government leadership: The differences are staggering, noted Herbold. The Chinese Government put forward its impressive five-year plan in March 2011, which is primarily focused on three things: 1) improving innovation in the country; 2) making significant improvements in the environmental footprint of China; and 3) continuing to create jobs to employ large numbers of people moving from rural to urban areas. But you cannot imagine the US Congress and President emerging with a unified five-year plan that they actually achieve like China typically does, said Herbold. Government finances: While China manages its economy with incredible care and is sitting on trillions of dollars of reserves, said Herbold, the US Government has managed its finances very poorly over the years and is flirting with a Greece-like catastrophe. Technology and innovation: In order to become globally competitive, the Chinese Government has invested significantly in technology innovation, said Herbold. A new recruiting program called Ten Thousand Talents will be initiated in a bid to reach out to Chinese individuals who have been trained, and currently reside, outside China. Focusing on those who are world-class in their technical abilities, primarily at the Ph.D. level, at work in various universities and science institutes abroad, the goal is to recruit 2,000 of these individuals to return to China each year. It is time for Washington politicians and American voters to realise they are getting beaten, Herbold opined. And they need to fix the budget and the burden of entitlements; implement an aggressive five-year debt-reduction plan, and start approving some winning plans. China Daily