The Middle Kingdom’s Travails

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One of the most under covered stories today is what is going on in China, a land where great change is afoot including the rapid growth of Christianity.  China has entered a period of internal political instability and external bellicosity, apparently trying to pick a fight with Japan and the US in the Pacific.  Gordon Chang at The National Interest has a look at the internal strife beginning to rock China.

China may be the fastest changing place anywhere, with a people sophisticated, confident, energized and ambitious. When the one-party state stands between them and their aspirations, which is often, they usually find a way to work around obstacles, but sometimes this rambunctious people will leave the safety of homes and confront officials, even in this day of the police state.

Because of the closing of factories, the poor have started a wave of labor protests. Yet the rich also air grievances at a time of heightened sensitivity. These days, almost no complaint is too small to attract a crowd—or spread from province to province. In the middle of this month, in Nanjing and at least five other cities in Jiangsu province and in Wuhan in Hubei, parents defied riot police and took to the streets to protest the reduction in number of spots for local students in universities.

Fifty years ago, the Chinese people followed Mao onto the streets, to “learn revolution by making revolution” as he exhorted them to do. Today, Xi Jinping glorifies the Great Helmsman and demands “ideological purification,” but few are prepared to follow him into a future that looks like the past and is therefore not relevant or attractive to them. The Chinese people are not yet fearless—that could come soon—but they now think and act for themselves, often moving in directions without permission from the Communist Party.

Today, if there is any revolution in China, it is not one promoted by the new Mao, Xi Jinping. It is the one started by the Chinese people, who on their own are remaking society, outside the realm of the orthodoxy of the Communist Party and its feuding leaders.

Go here to read the rest.  Chinese history has followed a well established pattern over the last 2000 plus years.  A period of anarchy followed by a ruling dynasty.  The dynasty rules until foreign defeat or internal rebellion, or a combination of both, tears it apart.  Then the pattern begins anew.  The Communist dynasty has been in control now for 67 years.  It may be entering a death spiral.  When it does, war in China and abroad will probably be the order of the day.  No Chinese dynasty under siege has ever possessed nuclear weapons before.  Something to keep in mind in your prayer intentions:  Peace, Freedom and Conversion in China.

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  1. I know of many pro-nuclear bloggers who look admiringly at communist China for its program of massive nuclear power plant construction projects. China took the Westinghouse AP1000 pressurized water reactor and is maing its own indigenous copy. Take a look at this status report on new nuclear build in China:
    Once China does this, she will be the pre-eminate nuclear power (both in energy plants and in weapons) world wide. Personally, I don’t trust a communist regime with either nuclear energy plants or nuclear weapons. Remember the USSR and Chernobyl – a mad reactor design for nuclear weapons fuel breeding that was moderated by graphite and cooled by light water, having a positive void coefficient of reactivity?
    Now that said, the currently planned Chinese reactors are PWRs and high temperature helium cooled pebble bed reactors which are demonstrably unsuited for weapons fuel production. Nevertheless, I still don’t trust any communist regime no matter how much the blogmeister at Atomic Insights – a rabid liberal progressive Democrat – extolls the vitues of China’s heavy handed government pushing though new nuclear build no matter what.

  2. I’ve heard it said that the new ideology of China is money. It’d be very easy to see them going the way of Japan, struggling with the idea of individualism. Also wouldn’t be shocked to see a Lost Decade on the horizon.

    There are so many souls there. Even a tiny inroad by Christianity would bring millions to the Faith.

  3. In fairness to his critics, Gordon Chang has been predicting the fall of China’s economy since 2011 — at least.
    However, Chang, almost alone, was warning about the many fake Chinese stock companies in 2010-2011, before they nearly all went belly up in those years(they were trying to infiltrate the US and world stock exchanges: they are/were nearly all shell corps, but they failed to meet our Securities and Exchange solvency requirements. Still a lot of investors got suckered.).

    Chang cannot be but correct that China is essentially hiding an enormous amount of debt, especially from its massive failed real estate developments of the last 3 years. And, add to that, that, for years, they have been taking unfathomable amounts of capital out of their production economy for their elephantine military buildup and the prohibitive associated costs of maintaining a gigantic standing army, navy and air force, as well as also its twin monolithic police state apparatus—-then, add in now the payoffs to the 8% of the country that are actual Communist Party members. It is not sustainable— as we recently saw with Venezuela.

    Give it time. It seems the natural timetable is that one can hide the red ink and IOU’s for a while, perhaps a decade or so—as in Venezuela, as in Greece—until—until That Day shall come.

    Come we know it will.

  4. What do Chinese economic authorities and the US media have in common? You cannot believe a word or a number they say or write.
    How long can banks endure having 25%, or 5% for that matter, of loans not paying interest or principal? One day the house of cards must collapse.

  5. “In fairness to his critics, Gordon Chang has been predicting the fall of China’s economy since 2011 — at least.”

    In fairness to their critics, Ronald Reagan and Daniel Patrick Moynihan had been predicting the fall of the Soviet Union since 1975 – at least.
    Yes, I know, a cheap shot. Still, the anarchy-dynasty-rebellion cycle cited by Don McClarey will continue until the people of a democratic China realize that the Mandate of Heaven lies in their hands and not those of their leaders.

  6. I just listen to Gordon Chang’s reports regularly (and have done so for years), TomD, so I thought I should point out what “the other side” would say.

    However, Chang’s knowledge and contacts in PROC are quite amazing. It doesn’t cancel the facts and his observation at all, by my view.

  7. China is probably achieving a very lucrative balance of trade, however, selling arms to states like N. Korea (I shudder to think what collateral N Korea uses to pay its bills), Iran, and we shouldn’t overlook their selling of massive amounts of armaments, especially AK47’s and ammo, to drug cartels world-wide.

    In fact, prior to the expose of “Fast and Furious”, when then-AG Eric Holder of the Just-Us Department was on a speaking spree—he gave a much-publicized speech in April, 2009, in Mexico City, the point of which was to blame US gun laws for Mexico’s drug cartel wars:

    But as Holder was talking about “all the arms smuggled in to Mexico from the US”, it was easy to find ATF and other law enforcement data showing the overwhelming bulk of captured weaponry and ammunition originated in China & N Korea (this site also links to the official pre-Obama data which was accurate in showing 90% of weaponry originates in the China connection):

    So, there is a cash-crop China can rely on for a few more years… or months… to prop itself up.

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