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The Chinese Century

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Solfege, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    The other problem is that the current economic "growth" is largely tied up in projects like the Ghost Cities, or entirely made up based fictional data to the point where the Economic Minster needs to use indirect statistical analysis to get something approaching usable information. Plus, unless China can reign in their copyright theft, multinational companies are going to move elsewhere for labor, like India or the more stable countries in the Middle East. They're sick of getting their shit jacked by the "businessmen" propped up by the Communist Party. Transitioning to a service-based economy, like Xi appears to be working toward, is not going go smoothly, or stabilize his economy. I'm not optimistic that China, in its current state, will last. I'm betting about 25 years before the whole thing implodes under its own weight, and maybe sets off WW3 trying to claw back into power.
     
  2. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    @Invictus You needn't have been so catty. I was asking which bubble, because you could have been talking about several, and my reaction to your prediction of that bubble imminently bursting would be different depending on which one you were talking about.

    I'm well acquainted with OBOR, for example, despite your insinuating otherwise.
     
  3. Lindsey

    Lindsey Death Eater

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    China is incredibly unstable despite how strong it looks from the outside, and always has been.

    If a bubble happens, China will have a tough time not crumbling. The people are content to following this corrupted and harsh regime because it has benefited them for several decades now. When people can actually seeing massive improvements in front of their eyes and promises are being delivered, they are more than likely to forgive the flaws of the nation. If fortunes reverse, and people start to lose what they have gained... shit starts to hit the fan.

    When the economy corrects itself, which it will eventually, anyone with money in China will flee. They already do it now when times are good. It doesn't help that China is trying to limit outside influence and cracking down on everything. They are playing a dangerous game with trying to modernize, become educated, yet hide from the ideas of the outside world. Hell, just a few days ago tattoos were banned in China. It is just bizarre how much they are trying to limit outside influence, and how little it is actually working. Young people in the cities are incredibly Westernized.

    A good example of what you could see happen, is what happened with powdered milk for babies in China. A company was caught using filler in baby powdered milk that caused huge development issues and death in children. Since then, no one trusts powdered milk. Almost everyone tries to get powdered milk from outside sources and it is absolutely wreaking global supply. It is not uncommon in many parts of the world to not find powdered formula anymore because it is taken by the Chinese, smuggled back in China and sold in the black market. Nothing the Chinese government has done has managed to bridge the trust with the people.

    If the government loses the trust of the people to provide jobs, which it easily might if they can't keep building and developing... It is going to be incredibly hard to get it back, especially as everyone knows, even in China, that their leaders are corrupt.

    You will see places such as Western China and Tibet start causing a lot more issues; perhaps even open rebellion. My friend recently went to Western China and was shocked to see how poor and pushed down these Muslim Minorities are. You can't go anywhere without getting pulled over, searched or see the military doing drills. Apparently Tibet is even worse. This is a huge reason why China is trying to develop these regions and get the Han to move in, so they can lessen the impact of the minorities if things go South. However, I would not be surprised if we start hearing about massive terrorist attacks in these areas in the future; as its usually the poor and downtrodden that can become radicalized.

    I have never been afraid that China will become the big super power of the world, because I feel like their whole nation is built on a house of cards. They are both a first world and a third world nation, with huge cultural, religious and ethnic divisions. We think the bridge between Rural and City folk are bad in America... We got nothing compared to China.
     
  4. calutron

    calutron Unspeakable

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    1. I think you're ignoring the fact that corrupt regimes that have terrible inequalities can last for decades.
    2. Also see the USSR, as an example of a superpower that did all kinds of bad shit with it's minorities and ethnic groups.
    3. Terrorism is only a problem in countries that care about human rights violations. It's not really hard to deal with if you're willing to commit genocide, which the Chinese will do.
     
  5. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    1) China's lasted since shortly after WWII, I would say that most definitely qualifies for "decades", even if it collapsed tomorrow, so that doesn't really say much.
    2) Do note that the USSR collapsed under that very corruption and malpractice, leaving modern Russia a weak and pale shadow of what it once was

    I actually agree entirely with your third point though. With the kind of measures China would most definitely stoop to, domestic terrorism simply isn't a major threat. The only question is if the cure is worse than the disease, in terms of long-term stability. Draconian measures didn't help King Louie much, after all.
     
  6. Invictus

    Invictus Fourth Champion

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    I apologise then, I read the 'what makes you so sure' in the wrong way. But I did say sooner or later. Didn't say it was immediate, even if I did imply it wouldn't be something far off.

    That's mostly fantasy. China has been dealing with low level muslim insurgencies for decades, and since it believes in overwhelming use of force and its incredibly good at seeing who gets in and out and what gets in and out, controlling mass insurgency is much easier when you don't care about trampling your populations rights all over. Courts in China are mostly for show after all.

    Radicalization isn't a very good option when it means you, your neighbours, your entire family and people around will die for it even before you were able to do anything more than stabbing some random police oficer. Internet radicalization? Difficult and tightly observed thanks to the Great Firewall and connected. Learning to use weapons or making bombs? Same. Groups? All meetings are tightly controlled, and informants are everywhere. And so the list goes. The USSR dealt with very little internal insurgency for that reason. Hong Kong 'insurgency' got crushed easily enough once China got a little serious, and Hong Kong 'eccentricities' were only tolerated for so long because at first the city accounted for 20% of China's GDP (now its 5% and getting smaller).

    China is only becoming a decent place if the of hundreds of thousands of young western-educated people, of the last decades, come back home and start making changes because they want to live like they used to in the West, want some of the West comforts and etc. That's actually how Africa and Southeast Asia became independent and some of these countries became decent places, like South Korea and Botswanna.

    However, it should be noted that the CCP is much better at running a country than the Soviet Politburo, or Putin or Chavez or any of the autocratic party regimes around ever were. They have a lot more rights than wrongs on economic policy, they successfully mostly closed off their country to unauthorized foreign influence, all in a globalized society. They made themselves as a very attractive partner, and while that holds true, China isn't a house of cards. It's a formidable country that outpaced the entire world and isn't falling to the same demographic traps that Japan/Germany are for a few decades at least, and it still has a lot of space to grow and modernise.
     
  7. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    It's already happening. Thankfully, ISIS is having trouble making inroads with the more moderate Uighur populations of Western China... although some have apparently shown up in Syria, according to Reuters.
     
  8. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Frankly, I'm less worried about their trade fuckery, and more worried about their modernizing military.
     
  9. awinarock

    awinarock Heir

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    Worried about it how?
     
  10. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    Remember what China's been getting up to in the South China Sea, where they march into sovereign territory and say "This shit is ours now"? Basically that, just everywhere.
     
  11. Invictus

    Invictus Fourth Champion

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    Or how they're getting troops on ground to 'protect Chinese companies and interests' in Africa. Frankly, seeing how the US abandoned Latin America after the 80s, don't be too surprised if a Chinese base pops up there in the next decade.

    Edit: In case that wasn't clear, that will be terrible. China is a predatory, ruthless and blunt partner, and it will not even pretend to care about anything but sucking up as much as it can from you. One can argue about the US and imperialism, but do compare, say, Chile and Laos. Or even Mexico and Laos.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  12. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    For many years, China confined itself to land forces, mostly conscripted and poorly equipped. Over the last decade or so, they've been modernizing equipment rapidly and becoming more professionalized. Their air force has also been moving away from flying Russian-built MiGs and towards indigenous current-generation aircraft that look suspiciously like F-22s. Finally, they've been rapidly building up their navy, including the recent additions of better fast attack submarines, new aircraft carriers based on the old soviet designs (but newly refitted or built from scratch, and not shitty and decrepit), and more capable destroyers.

    What does that add up to? Force projection. No more Fortress China. And that means competition on the world stage for us, who have gotten a bit too used to hyperpower status with no one around since the 1980s to match us for global reach.
     
  13. Arthellion

    Arthellion Death Eater

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    For those more aware, what role do you see India playing in US/China conflict?

    I’m more inclined to believe India will surpass China in modernization eventually, but I’m not anything close to an expert
     
  14. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    India is perpetually consumed by tunnel-vision about Pakistan.

    If it came to it, though, India has a reasonably good relationship with the US, and a history of border conflict with China along its northern frontier.
     
  15. ASmallBundleOfToothpicks

    ASmallBundleOfToothpicks Professor

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    Honestly, I don't think China is in any position to project force, or will be any time soon. I'm way more worried about the internal results of Xi's evident desire to modernize his military. He needs to lay off about 2/3rds of his current active personnel, replace all of the materiel that is either outdated, crappy, and/or that his soldiers just plain can't fit into anymore, since they're not starving conscripts. Given the state of the economy in China, there's not going to be enough jobs to go around, or the budget for enough sinecures/veterans benefits- especially if he moves at the speed he seems to want to. So what there'll be is a huge body of unemployed young men with military training, with nothing to do and a legitimate grievance against the CCP. To me that screams "Insurgency!"

    Hell, maybe someone in the military will seize the opportunity and try to take over part of China using these disenfranchised young men, or will sympathize with the rebels and funnel them arms and resources. Or maybe Taiwan supports them covertly. However you slice it, Xi seems to be living in interesting times.

    There's even been some build up along the border recently: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-42834609

    Still, I think that any fight China picks now, they'll lose flat out against basically any developed or semi-developed nation.
     
  16. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Keep in mind that if this equipment is being produced inside China, people will be needed to produce rifles, build planes and ships and armored vehicles, etc., and all of the downstream manufacturing that those finished products require.

    Given the plunging supply of available labor in China, I very much doubt that finding decommissioned soldiers jobs will be much of an issue.
     
  17. pbluekan

    pbluekan Professor DLP Supporter

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    I can’t recall off the top of my head, but wasn’t it all but confirmed that hack on the Pentagon a few years back was the one that stole that information?
    --- Post automerged ---
    As for this, I’d expect India to fall more towards the US side of things. They aren’t in the same weight class as the (new) Chinese military and they’re smart enough to know that the Chinese wouldn’t treat them kindly. India is one of the only places that has the potential to fully match China’s economic growth afterall.
     
  18. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    India and China do have a pretty long history of border conflicts with issues like the Doklam Plateau and South China Sea being very recent and, judging by ASmallBundleOfToothpicks's link, likely to flare up again. Not to mention that China has good relations with Pakistan, which inevitably leads to less warm relations with India.
     
  19. Solfege

    Solfege Auror DLP Supporter

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    My point exactly as to how Xi even now continues to consolidate control over the military. Dismissing generals like he has wouldn't have been done in previous generations. The military has indeed a history of being extraordinarily corrupt and looking out for their own interests (the whole "one-party CCP" crap is basically a fetishization of individualistic bureaucratic power* that the Chinese have had since... forever in their 5000 years of history, which isn't surprising because the causation is the other way around, where this societal aspect shaped the twists and turns of their ideological pursuits). My interpretation is that Xi has been working to shake this up, especially the various sweetheart "businesses" the military preoccupies themselves with, to the detriment of their professional readiness.

    *Everyone in the village knows the most powerful official is the local magistrate, for "heaven is high and far away." Factionalism being rife, especially within the politburo, reflects in how today's emperors are not what they once were. The fact that neither Deng nor Jiang nor Hu could control their own successions says a lot; and technically generals aren't loyal to the Party --- like anyone else they're loyal to their own self-serving interests through the Party.

    I can't speak as to the protests here but remember Putin did much the same in modernizing the Russian forces, downsizing and rebuilding. You've misread the stock market mishap --- it doesn't play the role in China that it does here. Do you see comprehensive Chinese versions of the S&P 500 or the Dow that track the biggest, most influential companies in the Chinese economy? Their biggest companies are their state-owned corporations. Rather, the stock market was and still is a minor speculatory/gambling ring for the rich, utterly uncorrelated with the real economy.

    Chuckling here. They do that too, but not at all what I was talking about.

    Nice. Agreed.

    We'll agree to disagree on this. Widespread corruption isn't stopped for sure; I'm not sure how you can completely eliminate a fundamental societal concept like guanxi, but it's been driven further underground, more than ever. i.e. Profits at restaurants, massage parlors, and such are down, everywhere... precisely because officials are frightened of Xi's anticorruption committee and no longer spend at their old lavish haunts. The public knows and can see this, even if international money laundering and nepotism continues overhead.

    Absolutely. Although the insistence on "modernized" coastal cities with cookie-cutter super-malls is tiring and catastrophically imprudent.

    Seconded. The CCP were terribly frighted by the fall of the Soviets. They've studied it inside out; the subject is academic. Note also the CCP have been able to accomplish what the Soviets never did: peaceable transfer of power for three generations now, to the full term and without needing the leader's expiration. Where Xi moves next will be interesting. I think he may be setting up to do what no modern Chinese leader has ever done --- anoint his own successor to continue the Xi Jinping Way of Thought.

    Interesting. My impression was they'd merely continue to be a major green-water fortress navy, capable of overwhelming our present regional capabilities (particularly given confines of the SCS) assuming their relatively untested tech works out, but I'm not terribly up-to-date on the buildup.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2018
  20. Darth_Revan

    Darth_Revan Secret Squirrel Prestige DLP Supporter

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    In the near term, I think you're right. Their immediate ambitions are to expand their home sphere of control out into any body of water that has "China" somewhere in the name. But I see that only as a stepping-stone ambition. They will use that time and operational space to complete their naval training and modernization. After that, by virtue of force size alone, they won't want to be confined to stealing miniature islands from Indonesia. They have growing commercial and military interests abroad, and if their observation of American behavior has taught them anything, it's that great power economics sometimes has to be complemented with great power saber rattling.
     
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