Just how stable is China? Well, not that much
The Daily Gouge raises the question:
This is more Jimmy Quinn’s territory, but I look at recent headlines like…
“Chinese Homebuyers Across 22 Cities Refuse to Pay Mortgages”
“China tries to stem growing anger over frozen bank deposits”
“Xi Visits Xinjiang Region After Extended Absence from Public Eye”
“China’s economy shrinks 2.6% during virus shutdowns”
“China Is Giving Off Strong Lehman Brothers Vibes”
“China will fare the worst if stagflation strikes, says S&P Global Ratings”
“China Sees Most Covid Cases Since May as Lockdowns Spread”
“Shanghai fears new lockdown as millions test for Covid amid sweltering heat”
…and wonder just how stable the Chinese economy and Chinese government are these days. The Chinese government, like all authoritarian regimes, requires a narrative of universal competence and wisdom in its leaders, which means the regime can never openly admit a mistake. Everything is always going according to the five-year plan, the state is always right, the leaders are always all-knowing and all-seeing, and any corruption, failures or incompetence that gets exposed is always isolated incidents involving rogue low-level employees.
And lately those narratives are crashing into higher and higher piles of counterevidence.
Whatever is happening in China, it seems to be pointing to new levels of economic, social, and political turbulence. Maybe the Chinese economy is a “too big to fail” colossus, with too much built-up momentum to be derailed for long. Or maybe the whole thing is a house of cards; reliable and verifiable economic data have always been hard to find in China.
A few days ago, former Pentagon strategist Elbridge Colby shared an unnerving thread laying out why he is “more and more alarmed about a PRC invasion of Taiwan.” You should read the whole thing, but the short version is that Colby sees the motive, means, and opportunity aligning for China. But the window of opportunity may be closing in the long term, as U.S. defense upgrades come on line and an anti-China defensive alliance takes hold in the Pacific.
It is possible that economic and domestic instability make Xi Jinping less likely to pull the trigger on an invasion of Taiwan; Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is demonstrating that the conquest of a long-coveted neighbor can be more difficult — a lot bloodier and messier and more geopolitically isolating — than expected. If your country is facing a tall stack of worsening problems, a major war against a foe determined to resist is likely to just make everything worse.
But then again, a lot of autocrats can’t distinguish between their personal desires and the national interest. There’s always the chance that Xi Jinping looks at that tall stack of worsening problems and decides an unprovoked, world-altering war of aggression is just the right tool to jump-start Chinese nationalism and make everything all better.
Here’s the juice: To borrow a phrase from our Clueless Leader…
Consider a few facts: (1) Autocrats have historically created internal enemies or external military adventures to distract from adverse domestic economic issues; (2) The conquest of Taiwan may represent just the distraction Xi Jinping believes he needs to maintain the Communists’ grip on power; and, (3) Taiwan represents over 90% of the world’s most advanced semiconductor manufacturing capacity.
Now, some may say we’ve just donned our tinfoil hat, but here’s a scenario which should worry you:
1. China, emboldened by the weakness of Biden and his Woke Military, invades Taiwan. The U.S. is in no position to aid the beleaguered island, and the ChiComs take control of the world’s semiconductor production.
2. China, or more likely China’s NoKo puppet so as to provide Xi plausible denial, detonates an nuclear device or two high over the United States, creating an EMP event which fries unprotected solid-state electronics (i.e., anything depending upon transistors and semi-conductors) across the fruited plains, plunging America practically into the Stone Age.
3. Biden is unable or unwilling to retaliate, the U.S. is shut off from the primary source of critical components to repair its damaged electronics, and the country is close to, if not already in, a state of anarchy.
3. Add to the mix either Iran taking advantage of the situation to lob a nuke into Tel Aviv or Israel launching a preemptive strike to prevent same, and you’ve got a world engulfed in chaos, with the People’s Republic of China the preeminent power on the planet.
The problem is compounded by an observation from the Morning Jolt you’ll read below:
“We’re not respected. No one fears crossing Joe Biden. It’s a dangerous world, and a lot of other countries think that we’re led by a geriatric pushover.“
It’s a dangerous world indeed, made all the more so by Progressives’ purposeful enfeeblement of America and her Military, and their intentional invigoration of Iran and the PRC.
We’ve got a confluence of two “fake it till you make it” streams here. First the cultural imperative to save face at all costs which is such a big part of East Asian societies. Second the Communist demand for total adherence to Marxist dogmatism in the face of all evidence to the contrary. The resulting collapse promises to quite entertaining, to say nothing of fascinating and horrifying.
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