"to have something(or someone?) beat hands down"

“Now, schadenfreude should not lead to any complaceny on our part; China may be corrupt and unable to make sensible short-run choices, but in terms of fundamental inability to deal with long-term problems, we still have them beat hands down. Still, it’s worth remembering that all giants have feet of clay.” Chinese Confusions by Paul Krugman Chinese Confusions - The New York Times

Could you please tell me the meaning of this phrase?

to have someone beat = to win
hands down = easily, without much effort

“Americans have far more difficulty dealing with long-term problems than the Chinese”, as astamoore says. the Americans beat the Chinese easily in this area.

To have someone beatEN?

Let’s see

He sang the songs. The songs were sung. He had the songs sung.
He took the money. The money was taken. He had the money taken by the mob.
He beat them. They were beaten. He had them beaten.

However, we regularly hear “he had them beat”

Maybe one day that form will take over. That is how the language evolves. Who’d have thunk it? If I would have went to school I wouldn’t make these mistakes.

Thank you, Astamoore and Steve.