GAINING INSIGHTS TO THE FUTURE BY CURRENT CHINESE TRENDS 25 JUN 2014
This post is not revealing new info, but rather assembling it in a fresh way to help us anticipate the future. The Greeks’ idea of the perfect specimen of a human was to perfect body & mind, so we inherited philosophy & the Olympics from them. For millennia, the elite of China were interested in culture (mental & social perfections), but not in athletics, so their modern participation in athletics is a deviation from tradition. This is but one example of thousands where the traditions of ancient China have been discarded….so where is Red China headed??
For starters many of them are headed our direction. In the last decade, 1 million Chinese have moved to the U.S. & Canada. Each yr. about 80,000 permanent resident status permits are granted by the U.S. to Chinese. They are also going everywhere else. Last yr. 9.3 million Chinese born in China were living abroad. The rich Chinese send their sons to Harvard & Oxford, and even to English boarding schools. Hurstville, Australia, a suburb of Sydney has half its population of Chinese origin. Vancouver, B.C. is heavily Chinese also. Yet compared the total Chinese population these are not large numbers.
China has an expansionist mentality: economically, geographically, militarily & politically. For instance, last year they bought 25 German firms, such as Putzmeister (a manufacturer of concrete pumps) & Kiekert (a car door latch maker). They have been taking notes on how the Germans produce high quality goods, as well as taking the German technology back to China. China is the largest non-European investor in Germany. They drew what they called the “nine-dash line” around the entire South China Sea and then grabbed all the islands in the area from their neighbors. The first set of islands captured were the Paracels from Vietnam in 1974. Next, were the Spratleys after a 1980 naval battle with the Vietnamese navy where perhaps all the Vietnamese became casualties. And finally the Scarborough Shoal was seized in 2012 from the Philippines. As a final bizarre act of aggression, China declared all these 200 islands in the vast South China Sea to be a large Chinese city called Sansha (a city in name only). It’s actions in the South China Sea have violated a number of international laws, and they are in defacto control of one of the world’s largest shipping lanes where 270 international ships (incl. large no. of super tanker traffic) pass by the Spratley Islands every day. They have decided they have the legal right to board passing ships.
China has laid claim to Japan’s Senkaku Islands, which have been Japanese since the 19th century. Recently, they declared the airspace over the islands as belonging to the Chinese Air Force. Japan is not backing down like China’s other neighbors, although Japan’s pacifist Constitution makes it questionable what Japan would do if China invaded. Japan’s Prime Minister Abe has recently been trying to reinterpret Japan’s Constitution so that they might militarily defend both Japan’s & U.S.’s interests. As long Abe is in office, it appears that Japan would help America out logistically if we got into a war in Korea, or elsewhere in the region. China’s govt. has greatly overreacted to Abe’s minor shift in defensive preparations, leading me to question Chinese intentions.
The Vietnamese are getting frustrated w/ China’s bullying. Violent anti-Chinese demonstrations have recently taken place in the big cities. In the industrial parks on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) 15 foreign-owned factories were burned. Apparently, demonstrators could not differentiate Chinese from Taiwanese & Filipino. In a country like Vietnam, violent demonstrations like this only happen w/ govt. help!
GROWING PAINS. Meanwhile, back on the Mainland, China is experiencing lots of growing pains. Life in the city slums can be grim. The underclass, treated as slaving drones are restless over their work/life entrapment. Yunnan province’s largest lake, Dian Lake, is a toxic waste dump too poisonous for even industrial use. The large cities are wrapped in smog. And the autocratic top down planning of cities has created strange things, for instance, a series of suburbs in Shanghai modelled on various European styles were created. Thames Town resembles a mid-19th century Victorian style English town. Most of the suburb is unoccupied, as very few Chinese have moved in. Half of China’s people are now in their urban centers. Rural Chinese are being poorly treated, obviously in an effort to get them to move to the cities to help in China’s industrial expansion. A rural worker receives on average 859 yuan a year on retirement. The govt. just raised the retirement pension for urban workers from 20,900 to 22,800 yuan while leaving the rural pensions the same. Bear in mind that the govt. poverty line is 2,300 yuan. So they are giving their rural elderly less than half the poverty line! Farmers have no property rights, and it is common for their land to be seized. Rural cigarettes are cheaper than the city; the cheapest rural ones are 35 cents a pack, while the urban dwellers have to pay a minimum of 85 cents/pack. Half the men in China smoke. For 7 years straight, the Chinese have had large demonstrations against the govt. building petrochemical plants that are going to give off paraxylene (px).
SCANDALS. The lower class have no faith in their corrupt wealthy elite. In a ploy to increase and consolidate his own power, President Xi Jinping has thrown some of the worst corrupt elite “under the bus”. For instance, this year billionaire Liu Han was exposed having built his $6.5 billion empire by using mafia tactics where he murdered, kidnapped, & extorted his way to being filthy rich. He is by no way an exception.
ACHIEVEMENTS FOR A WORK IN PROGRESS. A bullet train network connecting all the major cities is being developed. Bullet trains speed between cities at 186 m.p.h. over twice as fast as our Amtrak! The world’s largest building, the New Century Global Ctr. was built at Chengdu. Their military is continually upgrading its technology to compete with the U.S. Recently, Russia, facing economic problems due to the Ukrainian crisis, is turning to China to help save its economy. Recently, a deal was made to produce Sukhoi’s “Superjet” planes for China. It remains to be seen how this pans out as many key parts for the Russian Superjet are made in the U.S. & EU. Here in the U.S. we have 18,000 airfields/airports for civilian craft vs. 400 in China. Their airforce restricts large amounts of airspace, but recently they gave 12 military airfields over to the civilians. So there is an expansion of civilian aircraft in China.
CONCLUSION. While I have tended to be alarmed at Red China’s expansionism & their agenda against America, I have come to realize that there are some serious flaws in China’s growth. The “strong man” has some serious weaknesses.
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