Insecurity riding high within world's second largest economy

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Submitted by ocrenter on July 18, 2017 - 6:27am

We know China censors politically sensitive topics. And many people give them a pass on those topics. Some even argue this gives them respect, saving them "face", and is the culturally sensitive thing to do.

But a powerful dictatorship with the world's largest standing army and second largest economy is so insecure that it is now censoring a cartoon bear? This does not bode well for the world.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/world...

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 18, 2017 - 7:34am.

It's a great opportunity for Trump to speak up. But Trump was silent on Hong Kong's 20 year return to china. Trump was silent on Liu Xiabo.

OC renter, weren't you hopeful that Trump would be tough on China that you'd give him a pass on everything else?

Do you think that China's trademark awards to Trump was coincidence? Now Ivanka has applications pending.

BTW, China's economy is bigger by 15% than the US' in purchasing power parity. But our free press doesn't like to report that because that would make us #2.

The US chamber of commerce in Beijing sent a delegation to DC to warn about China's policies to support 21st century industries such as renewable energy, cloud computing, transport, etc.... but not to worry, China will fail anyway because government intervention never works.

Remember when more than a decade ago experts said the Internet Great Wall of China would crumble in no time?

Submitted by ocrenter on July 18, 2017 - 1:12pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
It's a great opportunity for Trump to speak up. But Trump was silent on Hong Kong's 20 year return to china. Trump was silent on Liu Xiabo.

OC renter, weren't you hopeful that Trump would be tough on China that you'd give him a pass on everything else?

Do you think that China's trademark awards to Trump was coincidence? Now Ivanka has applications pending.

BTW, China's economy is bigger by 15% than the US' in purchasing power parity. But our free press doesn't like to report that because that would make us #2.

The US chamber of commerce in Beijing sent a delegation to DC to warn about China's policies to support 21st century industries such as renewable energy, cloud computing, transport, etc.... but not to worry, China will fail anyway because government intervention never works.

Remember when more than a decade ago experts said the Internet Great Wall of China would crumble in no time?

Nope, never gave Trump a pass.

Submitted by spdrun on July 18, 2017 - 3:58pm.

Let China burn, it would be a hell of an opportunity if they slow down the world ecahhhhnamy with them. Isolation seldom bodes well for long term economic health.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 18, 2017 - 7:59pm.

spdrun wrote:
Let China burn, it would be a hell of an opportunity if they slow down the world ecahhhhnamy with them. Isolation seldom bodes well for long term economic health.

Huh? Chinese professionals are anything but isolated. They speaks English and they know what Is generally going on in the West because they see us as competitors; and they are laser focused on making money. Granted they don't much care about democracy because they are not exposed. The censors are going a good job. But that has nothing to do with the economy.

Think of China as a giant Singapore. In 2000 Singaporeans were poorer than us, now they are richer, never mind democracy. To get rich is glorious and money is freedom.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 18, 2017 - 8:08pm.

ocrenter, your comments imply that Xi Jinping is an insecure paper tiger. Do you really believe that?

By all accounts Xi is the most powerful leader since Deng Xioaping. He is confident and can do what he wants.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 19, 2017 - 7:14am.

FlyerInHi wrote:
ocrenter, your comments imply that Xi Jinping is an insecure paper tiger. Do you really believe that?

By all accounts Xi is the most powerful leader since Deng Xioaping. He is confident and can do what he wants.

The idea here is the more insecure one is, the tighter the grip. The Chinese economy is riding on fluff with lax lending and relentless borrowing and bubbling real estate at all level. Foreign investors are retreating. The more developed economies of the coastal provinces now have to deal with more environmentally minded citizenry and their frequent protests (which goes unreported). On the political front he has made numerous enemies with his anti-corruption campaign, which simply cracks down on political rivals.

Is it any surprise that Xi is reactivating decade old border conflict with India just months away from the 19th CCP party congress this fall?

China is far less free now than a few years ago. Just today, we hear of further tightening with the blocking of WhatsApp services. I literally just read that article in the NYT when I happened upon your post here.

Let's just look at Trump. He doesn't have the ability to shut off Facebook or control the press. Instead, he just calls the press fake, as his position grows weaker, the fake press rallying cry gets louder. Would you say he is confident? Same idea, but applied in a country where the insecure leader CAN restrict the press and everything else and does with increasing ferocity.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 19, 2017 - 10:48am.

Here's a timely article on how China tames the internet. I just think China wants to insure stabillity by not allowing critics of the government to gain momentum. That's all.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/...

Xi is very powerful and he's able to push his policies through. Yes, the Chinese middle class knows environmental pollution is a problem. But they are also millionaires sitting on huge real estate equity and other wealth they likely could not have accumulated had they immigrated to the West decades ago. Hence the push to renewables and China replacing American leadership as Trump retreats. Xi has been very supportive of Davos and Paris, economy and environment, the two most important issues for the Chinese educated class. Education would be third.

The border disputes with India is politics just like Iran was used by Trump during the elections. Makes people more nationalistic.

Xi has a tough job pivoting the Chinese economy to consumerism. I think he'll pull it off. The construction companies have Belt and Road to keep working. That will help them gain more experience, international goodwill and export their high speed trains, telecom networks, create new markets, etc. That will also develop the hinterland and narrow the rural-coastal wealth gap.

I see products from China becoming international quality. So I see China moving to the next stage of development where they are creative and setting standards.

I'm not betting against China. People have poo-pooed China for the last thirty years and they have been proven wrong. Those same people are now forced to accept Chinese money which they called fake before.

Sure, China coiuld liberalize and they are in the area of travel and personal freedoms. But they won't loosen the party's grip on government, not until China is an advanced economy.

Maybe I've been listening too much to Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull. They have tied Australia's future to China and Australia has so far done very well.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 19, 2017 - 12:12pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
Here's a timely article on how China tames the internet. I just think China wants to insure stabillity by not allowing critics of the government to gain momentum. That's all.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/...

Xi is very powerful and he's able to push his policies through. Yes, the Chinese middle class knows environmental pollution is a problem. But they are also millionaires sitting on huge real estate equity and other wealth they likely could not have accumulated had they immigrated to the West decades ago. Hence the push to renewables and China replacing American leadership as Trump retreats. Xi has been very supportive of Davos and Paris, economy and environment, the two most important issues for the Chinese educated class. Education would be third.

The border disputes with India is politics just like Iran was used by Trump during the elections. Makes people more nationalistic.

Xi has a tough job pivoting the Chinese economy to consumerism. I think he'll pull it off. The construction companies have Belt and Road to keep working. That will help them gain more experience, international goodwill and export their high speed trains, telecom networks, create new markets, etc. That will also develop the hinterland and narrow the rural-coastal wealth gap.

I see products from China becoming international quality. So I see China moving to the next stage of development where they are creative and setting standards.

I'm not betting against China. People have poo-pooed China for the last thirty years and they have been proven wrong. Those same people are now forced to accept Chinese money which they called fake before.

Sure, China coiuld liberalize and they are in the area of travel and personal freedoms. But they won't loosen the party's grip on government, not until China is an advanced economy.

Maybe I've been listening too much to Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull. They have tied Australia's future to China and Australia has so far done very well.

Exhibit 743 on giving China the pass.

All in the name of stability.

Maybe Trump should learn from the Chinese and stabilize us.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 19, 2017 - 2:20pm.

I don't think I'm giving China a pass. Just a realistic assessment. What purpose does it serve to be wishfully negative then proven wrong?

America should speak up whenever possible on human rights and democracy. But unfortunately few in the world are listening to us now because of our actions since 9/11.

We could learn from China and be more cooperative in foreign affairs. China just financed and built a new train in Kenya. We don't see American projects like that.

http://www.newsweek.com/kenya-railway-ch...

Submitted by The-Shoveler on July 19, 2017 - 2:50pm.

Its not that china helps or does things, it is that China stays out of everyone's else biz.

It precisely that we get involved in human rights etc.. (rightly or wrongly) is what leaves other countries with a bad taste in their mouths.

Anyway they have almost total control of their economy so it is hard to see that failing IMO.

BTW they are by far the largest foreign buyers of USA-RE.

They can turn the dial up or down at will (I have personally seen it).

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 19, 2017 - 7:54pm.

Shoveler, you seem really bullish on China. You,ve said before that China is the bank.

What do you make of the notion that government economic planning is bound to fail?

Submitted by The-Shoveler on July 20, 2017 - 7:21am.

"What do you make of the notion that government economic planning is bound to fail?"

Hard to say, if done well I see no reason for it to fail.

Same for free markets (if managed well).

I think all successfully run governments are a mixture of both.

Both have bad and good. Both can be really really bad if not managed correctly and left to go to extremes.

When I say China "IS THE BANK" I mean the china Gov runs the banks and can decide who and how much for what and how much money to print (they totally control it).

Even down to what a bowl of rice cost today.
They will tell you what the inflation rate will be this month week or day.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 20, 2017 - 1:32pm.

Wow, Shoveler. Sounds like the Middle Kingdom has been restored to greatness.

I don't think the Chinese are that powerful. But they have a lot of well qualified people with PhDs, many engineers running the country.

I just worry about our old fashioned approaches... our badass thinking leads to military intervention whereas China uses economic power. We spend $ trillion on military adventures and China builds infrastructure that give them revenue concessions and create new markets for their exports.

Our population is so unaware of global affairs and business. Sad, as Trump would say.

On China railway you can now order food to your seat on smart phones, to be delivered by local restaurants at the trains arrive the stations. Very advanced since the high speed trains stop for only a few minutes.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 20, 2017 - 1:40pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
Wow, Shoveler. Sounds like the Middle Kingdom has been restored to greatness.

I don't think the Chinese are that powerful. But they have a lot of well qualified people with PhDs, many engineers running the country.

I just worry about our old fashioned approaches... our badass thinking leads to military intervention whereas China uses economic power. We spend $ trillion on military adventures and China builds infrastructure that give them revenue concessions and create new markets for their exports.

Our population is so unaware of global affairs and business. Sad, as Trump would say.

On China railway you can now order food to your seat on smart phones, to be delivered by local restaurants at the trains arrive the stations. Very advanced since the high speed trains stop for only a few minutes.

This is the reason why a lot of people voted for Trump.

Submitted by The-Shoveler on July 20, 2017 - 1:53pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:

I don't think the Chinese are that powerful.

I have been there long enough to see it in action,
Keep in mind virtually all the banks are owned by China Gov. as well as almost every store where the Chinese buy food and clothes, they will mandate (one way or the other) what the pervading wage will be and are by very far the largest employer.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 20, 2017 - 4:08pm.

ocrenter wrote:

This is the reason why a lot of people voted for Trump.

Trump voters want to go to war. They want to kick ass but for what really?

We spent $ trillions in Afghanistan and the taliban is looking to make a comeback. Spending drives economic growth for a few years because we spend on our own contractors but there is no future return. We maybe sending more troops there.

China is building the China Pakistan corridor. They get revenue concessions from the project. They get development rights along the corridor... new businesses, new condos. Development in Pakistan will drive demand for Chinese products. Win win. Best of all nobody is killed. Even if Pakistan doesn't payback the loans for decades, the buiness opportunities will more than make up.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 20, 2017 - 8:42pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:

Trump voters want to go to war. They want to kick ass but for what really?

We spent $ trillions in Afghanistan and the taliban is looking to make a comeback. Spending drives economic growth for a few years because we spend on our own contractors but there is no future return. We maybe sending more troops there.

China is building the China Pakistan corridor. They get revenue concessions from the project. They get development rights along the corridor... new businesses, new condos. Development in Pakistan will drive demand for Chinese products. Win win. Best of all nobody is killed. Even if Pakistan doesn't payback the loans for decades, the buiness opportunities will more than make up.

Trump voters are self contradictory. They are very nationalistic, so you are right, they do want higher military spending. But they are also isolationist and want the US withdraw from these wars and conflicts.

Chinese are incredibly nationalistic, they absolutely support the government policy of increasing military spending. The government uses various manufactured conflicts to fan the nationalistic flame.

Submitted by harvey on July 21, 2017 - 6:06am.

The Chinese government does have a certain wisdom:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/news/co...

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 21, 2017 - 9:48am.

ocrenter wrote:

Trump voters are self contradictory. They are very nationalistic, so you are right, they do want higher military spending. But they are also isolationist and want the US withdraw from these wars and conflicts.

Chinese are incredibly nationalistic, they absolutely support the government policy of increasing military spending. The government uses various manufactured conflicts to fan the nationalistic flame.

I believe Trump supporters want to kickass at war. They can't stomach nation building or long term diplomacy.

China is in for the long term with their foreign policy. We'll see if in 10 years, Belt and Road ties other countries closer to China. In contrast, we've been in Afghanistan and iraq for a decade and a half. Any good results?

In the big picture, chinese nationalism is similar to our American exceptionalism. At least the chinese don't invade other countries, they're not religious so they don't send proselytizers on missions around the world.

China's biggest challenge is to avoid the middle income trap. If they don't pull it off, there will be instability and the country could regress economically, possibly break apart.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 21, 2017 - 10:02am.

harvey wrote:
The Chinese government does have a certain wisdom:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/news/controversial-justin-bieber-banned-china-order-purify-nation/

https://www.facebook.com/m.ltn.tw/posts/...

Apparently 50% of the well to do Chinese wishes to leave China. I guess the Bieber ban was the last straw.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 21, 2017 - 11:09am.

ocrenter wrote:

Apparently 50% of the well to do Chinese wishes to leave China. I guess the Bieber ban was the last straw.

It's actually good for China. Because they act like Chinese investments aboard. And their businesses usually involve facilitating trade with China and knowledge transfers to China.

The world is changing. We need to embrace globalization and world citizenry.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 21, 2017 - 11:56am.

FlyerInHi wrote:
ocrenter wrote:

Apparently 50% of the well to do Chinese wishes to leave China. I guess the Bieber ban was the last straw.

It's actually good for China. Because they act like Chinese investments aboard. And their businesses usually involve facilitating trade with China and knowledge transfers to China.

The world is changing. We need to embrace globalization and world citizenry.

Dude, you sound like a PRC spokesperson, there's a positive spin to anything and everything.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 21, 2017 - 3:33pm.

ocrenter wrote:

Dude, you sound like a PRC spokesperson, there's a positive spin to anything and everything.

Yeah, sorry about that. It does sound apologist.

But I happen to know a lot of overseas Chinese who trade with China. The new generations of immigrants keep close contact with the home country. They don't want to become ordinary employees so they more often than not run businesses that involve trade.

Plus I don't want to see China fail. It would be a disaster for humanity because hundreds of millions of people will see development retarded, perhaps too late in their lifetimes.

Another thing is that China does not allow dual citizenship so people are reluctant to give up citizenship lest that cuts them off from opportunities that made them rich in the first place. If you fall out of favor, you may want to immigrate but if you're steadily making money, would you want to forgo the opportunities? Yeah, you may want to send your wife and children overseas while you continue to work.

Ownership of PRC real estate by foreigners is only allowed for own use to those who are residents. That is a problem for foreign investors.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 22, 2017 - 3:32am.

FlyerInHi wrote:

Plus I don't want to see China fail. It would be a disaster for humanity because hundreds of millions of people will see development retarded, perhaps too late in their lifetimes.

.

I agree with the desire to see a successful China that matures into a prosperous first world nation. That will end up lifting up not just Chinese citizens, but also the surrounding countries and the world as well.

However, there is way too many parallels with Nazi Germany in regard to its nationalistic fervor.

It desires union of ethnic Han Chinese states under one roof, aka Taiwan (much like the desire to have all ethnic German states unite under one roof, for example the annexation of Austria).

It claims the right to protect ethnic Chinese populations in neighboring states such as Malaysia and Indonesia (much like the claim to protect ethnic Germans in neighboring states such as Czechoslovakia and Poland).

It continues to nurse a bruised ego for past wrongs, aka hundred years of humiliation (much like Germany nursing bruised ego from WWI and its unfair treaties).

There were plenty of German fans in the west back in those days that rooted for Nazi Germany to thrive and become a mature and successful member state of the world.

Don't ignore the parallels, don't be on the side of appeasement, don't stay silent on clear violations of human rights and acts of aggression. By being tough with China, you are helping China grow up as a mature upright citizen. By being soft and apologist, you allow the nationalistic tendencies to grow unchecked and you'll end up with WWIII on your hands.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 22, 2017 - 11:22am.

Did you read Thucydides' Trap?

https://www.google.com/amp/foreignpolicy...

Apparently, the Chinese leadership knows about it and they expressly want to avoid it.

If there is war, if will be the USA going to war in Asia. Weapons systems have changed and $ multi billion aircraft carriers can be sunk by cheap submarines or missiles. The chinese are leaders in consumer drones and I'm sure they are applying new tech to military hardware.

Anyway, I agree, we should pressure and help China become a progressive prosperous country. Not a competitor but a partner on economic and security matters. Win-win for humanity

It will be interesting to watch. The established power must learn some humility and allow room for the rising power. And the rising power must rise in a benign manner not to upset the existing military balance. The need to bend it over time, not upset it.

Unlike Japan Korea and Taiwan, China has been very good at incorporating foreign investments into its economy. We'll see.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 23, 2017 - 6:35am.

FlyerInHi wrote:
Did you read Thucydides' Trap?

https://www.google.com/amp/foreignpolicy...

I see we read the same article and came to very different conclusions.

"Maintaining China’s extraordinary economic growth, which provides legitimacy for sweeping party rule, is a high-wire act that will only get harder."

unfortunately the maintenance of this extraordinary growth is via bubble economics. and remember, they can make up their economic numbers, so no one on the outside can really decipher how bad things are.

http://video.vanityfair.com/watch/the-ne...

Now here's what the article stated about the US:

"Meanwhile, in the United States, sluggish growth is the new normal. And American democracy is exhibiting worrisome symptoms: declining civic engagement, institutionalized corruption, and widespread lack of trust in politics."

the biggest difference here is one government relies on high growth for its legitimacy. and if you read the "problems" given for the US, it turns out every single point mentioned are realities within China. There is no civic engagement, there is widespread corruption, and lack of trust in politics is a given.

Going back to the Thucydides' Trap. China's highwire act does have a "safety net" of nationalism the CCP perpetuates and plan to flame in the event of economic disaster.

https://widerimage.reuters.com/story/chi...

Can you imagine if 70% of all of our TV shows and movies are all war related? and the bulk are all against Russia or Muslims?

In the event China does utilize that nationalism safety net to maintain its legitimacy, is the US willing to check China? Or will political appeasement win, which further the flame of such nationalism.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 23, 2017 - 10:49am.

ocrenter wrote:

In the event China does utilize that nationalism safety net to maintain its legitimacy, is the US willing to check China? Or will political appeasement win, which further the flame of such nationalism.

We didn't go to war over Crimea.

Submitted by ocrenter on July 23, 2017 - 8:27pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
ocrenter wrote:

In the event China does utilize that nationalism safety net to maintain its legitimacy, is the US willing to check China? Or will political appeasement win, which further the flame of such nationalism.

We didn't go to war over Crimea.

Exactly.

We didn't have to go to war, but more direct military support for Ukraine would have kept the conflict at Crimea. Instead we have Donetsk and Luhansk. Followed by Putin's arrogant and blatant interference in our and other European elections.

Thank you for the perfect example.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on July 24, 2017 - 2:42pm.

ocrenter wrote:

Exactly.

Latest news. China is populating the disputed islands.
I wonder what the Taiwanese and Vietnamese press are saying.

Will there be a statement from Trump's State Department or intelligence agencies? Probably not... maybe the China analysts have been fired due to budget cuts.
Will Trump himself say something?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worl...

I'm sure the Russians and Chinese are rejoicing at the distinction in D.C.
Notice that Putin and Xi are very tight. Putin was in Beijing next to Xi In Beijing at Belt and Road Forum that the major western leaders snubbed.

Submitted by gzz on July 24, 2017 - 4:02pm.

Instability and pollution in China will keep the desire of wealthy Chinese to store their wealth in clean and stable USA and Canada.

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