Thursday, 15 December 2011

China descendant

Onward, comrades, to a glorious lost decade!
The credit bubble has finally popped and it looks like Red China's dream of inevitable world domination has gone the same way as the USSR, Japan, the European Empire and all the others pegged as unstoppable economic juggernauts after a growth spurt.  As one commentator put it, the BRIC nations are falling like a brick.

Let's hope the Chicoms are smart enough to manage the fall so it doesn't become a crash.


eon said...

Being a dictatorship, the PRC will do what dictatorships always do in such economic straits.

First, they will try to pretend it isn't happening, by trying to conceal the downward spiral. Which they are apparently already doing.

Then, they will launch another "Five Year Plan" to make their economy solvent, in their own estimation and on their own terms. (Both collectivist and command-and-control based.) Look for a bunch of "Hero Projects" which they will not be able to finish because they run out of money.

Finally (and they will have to do this within the decade), since they have a surfeit of young men with no chance of marriage due to their "One Child" policy of the last quarter-century, they will try to solve two problems at once (economic downturn and possible civil unrest) by handing each of those young men a uniform and a rifle, and pointing them north across the Amur River.

To the old men in Beijing, Siberia is the answer to a lot of their problems. Resource-rich, largely undeveloped, and incapable of being defended against the PLA because it's at the far end of a very shaky logistics chain. Defending it was a major headache for the USSR in its heyday; today, it's likely that the Russian Army would be unable to mount a credible defense no matter how much they know they need to. (Sorry, Sergei.)

And unlike their attempts to intimidate half the Pacific with a navy suitable mainly for coastal defense (as opposed to force projection), the People's Liberation Army would have no trouble actually getting "boots on the ground" in Eastern Siberia. In fact, they could pretty much just march there.

Clancy's "The Bear and the Dragon" may, in future history, be seen as being uncomfortably prophetic.

cheers (sort of)


Sergej said...

No need for sympathy, eon. My loyalties are here in the US, and my foreign sympathies with Israel first, countries like Britain, Australia, Japan, Taiwan afterward.

I've thought for some years that a war, possibly for Siberia, might be a place the PRC might burn up its excess male population. But then, a war would not be very good for foreign trade, and there has been no revolution of unhappy young men so far---official numbers I've heard are 10% gender imbalance in the cities and 30% in the country, and God knows what the real numbers are, and still they don't revolt. (The patience of the Chinese peasants must put that of the Russian peasants to shame!) But then, this is the same government that brought you the Great Leap Forward, and followed it up with the Cultural Revolution, in case you thought the Great Leap was a fluke. In the USSR, the NEP was followed by the liquification of the kulaks, and I don't see Red China being either warmer or fuzzier than my Old Country.

Back when Putin told the former Soviet satellites about how it would be a pity if anything were to happen to them, like was happening with Georgia at the time for instance, a coworker, ex-military, remarked on how poorly maintained the Russian equipment was. Plumes of blue smoke out the exhaust kind of thing. On the other hand, the USSR has never considered nuclear weapons to be only for show. In a war between Russia and China, therefore, I think we can expect Korea-style massed attacks, and atom bombs. Not a happy thought. If this were a movie, it would be cause for popcorn (and Michael Bay or Golan-Globus would be making it), but however evil or wrong the governments, and however much we would like both of them to lose, these are going to be human beings fighting this war.

eon said...


We think alike. I'm not "looking forward" to it, I just suspect that the Chinese leadership will default to type. As per Mao.

Sad, but probably inevitable.