Peter Zeihan: The End of China

Go Bama

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I saw this earlier, didn't know where it would fit, so left it alone. I'm glad CA posted it.

I've started looking for Zeihan's videos. The guy is in Colorado today, DC yesterday, Ukraine last week, Antartica next week. As Herschel would say, "He worl wye."

It's hard for me to buy into Russia and China both falling apart at the same time. I agree with TW, I hope he's right.
 

mdb-tpet

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I really doubt China falls apart. There's way too many yes men in the line of command at every level. Even if there's a leadership toppling, there's still millions of support people who's livelyhood depend on the power structure in place. I think it would be more like Romania where the top gets replaced, but the cancer is still alive and well and just grows a new head.
 
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Padreruf

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I really doubt China falls apart. There's way too many yes men in the line of command at every level. Even if there's a leadership toppling, there's still millions of support people who's livelyhood depend on the power structure in place. I think it would be more like Romania where the top gets replaced, but the cancer is still alive and well and just grows a new head.
I agree...they will imprison or kill a million or so and it will not matter one bit to Xi or his cronies. Now, may they implode over the next 5 years? I would say yes...but don't count on anything happening quickly.
 
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Tidewater

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I agree...they will imprison or kill a million or so and it will not matter one bit to Xi or his cronies. Now, may they implode over the next 5 years? I would say yes...but don't count on anything happening quickly.
The problem with an authoritarian antidemocratic dictatorship is that it by definition closes the pressure relief valves a democracy holds open.
Democracy is bumpy, chaotic, and messy, but it is more stable in the long run than an authoritarian antidemocratic dictatorship.
This could not happen to a more deserving bunch of guys.

That said, China and Russia are monuments to what a government can get away with if it can control the people's access to information.
 
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Padreruf

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The problem with an authoritarian antidemocratic dictatorship is the is by definition closes the pressure relief valves a democracy holds open.
Democracy is bumpy, chaotic, and messy, but it is more stable in the long run than an authoritarian antidemocratic dictatorship.
This could not happen to a more deserving bunch of guys.

That said, China and Russia are monuments to what a government can get away with if it can control the people's access to information.
You are precisely correct...when you can express your view, even if you lose, you feel better. I saw that in Baptist church life -- congregational authority -- time and again.
 

twofbyc

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The problem with an authoritarian antidemocratic dictatorship is the is by definition closes the pressure relief valves a democracy holds open.
Democracy is bumpy, chaotic, and messy, but it is more stable in the long run than an authoritarian antidemocratic dictatorship.
This could not happen to a more deserving bunch of guys.

That said, China and Russia are monuments to what a government can get away with if it can control the people's access to information.
And yet the public admission by Trump’s first CoS that just after the election they briefly considered trying to do away with the first amendment didn’t cost him any support; evangelicals made him come up with other ways to muzzle the press (disinformation and lies) and break up peaceful protests (gassing the peaceful for a photo op).
Maybe enough Americans have finally realized the threat, but we still have too many in elected office that would gladly disregard the Constitution to install an autocrat, “their guy”, regardless of what the majority want.
And FTR, Trump figured out how to get away with just about anything without suppressing information: lessons learned from Mein Kampf.
 
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Padreruf

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Good information here on the decision to limit Chinese access to our top semi-conductor chips...


 
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4Q Basket Case

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I’ve been a Peter Zeihan fan for some time — he’s spoken at Mrs. Basket Case’s former law firm several years running.

Even if he’s right about Russia and China (I think he is) I also think he focuses a bit too much on the end result, and doesn’t pay enough attention to the damage they can do in the meantime.

The parallel story comes to me from a friend who was an EMT in northeast Alabama in his younger days. A guy is hyped out of his mind on whatever drug he’s taken. He gets shot multiple times, and is going to bleed out soon. Essentially, he’s a dead man; he just doesn’t yet realize it. But between now and when that happens, he‘s still much hell to deal with.

So yeah, China and Russia are going down. But they can cause God’s own amount of trouble before they finally implode.

A wounded and cornered animal with nothing to lose is truly scary.
 

Tidewater

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Good information here on the decision to limit Chinese access to our top semi-conductor chips...
Finally, someone in Washington treats China like the analog to Germany or Japan in the mid-to-late 1930s. China is precisely that. I do not want to make enemies of the Chinese. I want their government to pause at the brink of the abyss and ponder where they are and whither they are going.
 

twofbyc

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Finally, someone in Washington treats China like the analog to Germany or Japan in the mid-to-late 1930s. China is precisely that. I do not want to make enemies of the Chinese. I want their government to pause at the brink of the abyss and ponder where they are and whither they are going.
Only problem here - and my experience with the Chinese differs from yours greatly, I’m sure - is that the Chinese feel entitled to what they want; they are not above giving the proverbial finger to anyone who doesn’t agree with that, and in some cases will go much further to destroy any obstacle to their desire.
Unlike you, I haven’t studied or experienced the culture to any significant degree; my multiple experiences with them has just left a bad taste in my mouth. Duplicity and cunning are traits they have perfected.
I feel certain that as I write this, China is perfecting their plan to take Taiwan without losing its chip capabilities. If they can’t do that, I think it would be deemed a failure.
But they have stolen everything they’ve needed to get where they are now, economically and militarily. In that pursuit, because they just don’t seem to possess the ability to advance in either area simply using their own, they will never stop trying to steal what they need to become and remain the world’s superpower.
 
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Blueguitar

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I saw this earlier, didn't know where it would fit, so left it alone. I'm glad CA posted it.

I've started looking for Zeihan's videos. The guy is in Colorado today, DC yesterday, Ukraine last week, Antartica next week. As Herschel would say, "He worl wye."

It's hard for me to buy into Russia and China both falling apart at the same time. I agree with TW, I hope he's right.
I've been following him a fair amount lately, and signed up for his newsletter. He is a smart guy and has an impressively wide range of knowledge and information. He's especially good on global trade and finance. He sometimes gets out of his lane by trying to make pronouncements on things that I suspect are outside his expertise, like climate change or like military strategy in Ukraine. I've followed the Ukraine conflict closely, and I think that may be one topic where I know about as much as Zeihan. On that one I've found his analysis to be simplistic and unhelpful. But overall he's worth having in your information queue.
 

4Q Basket Case

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I agree that the energy issue is a weakness for China. But in a perfect world, with a powerful enough navy, they could fix that. They could also fix it by making nice with the USA.

It isn't a perfect world, and they don't have the navy required to do what they need, and they seem to make a habit of hacking off the US at every turn. But it's still well within their ability to influence.

The intractable problem for which there is no fix is their horrendous demographics. Plus, as Peter Zeihan says, the numbers they report are horrible, and they lie in ALL their reporting. So it's highly likely the Chinese demographic issue is materially worse than they admit.

The existential problem is that it is physically impossible to fix quickly, and likely can't be fixed at all. Even if Xi successfully incented all his people of childbearing age to be "in the mood" tonight and every night for the next 20 years, it would still be more than 18 years before the first of those babies were contributing members of society...and longer than that for the boom to be felt throughout the economy. China doesn't have that much time.

Between cultural barriers (strong preference for boys and selective abortion of girls) and governmental policies, they've really messed themselves up irreparably.

One Child simultaneously capped childbearing and caused tens (hundreds?) of millions of abortions, mostly of females. Urbanization converts children from free agricultural labor into massively expensive toys that don't produce anything for a long time.

On top of which, a lot of the recently-urbanized population of childbearing age lives in circumstances that have more in common with hostels than what we picture as residential apartments. Not exactly conducive to either making babies or raising them.

Where I differ with Zeihan is that he doesn't think China or Russia will destabilize the world in their death throes. I fear otherwise. A cornered, scared and wounded animal can still have massive claws and teeth. If it feels that it also has nothing left to lose, it becomes exponentially more dangerous.

A dictator surrounded by sycophants throws logic and rationality out the window because he doesn't perceive that he has a tomorrow to protect. THAT is scary to me.
 
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