Will China implode before (or after?) it becomes the dominant world power?


Me no know much 'bout China.

They built a wall. Pagodas. Have some bamboo loving bears. Only allowed 1 child. Threaten kids with tanks. Build mega cities, then abandon them. Build replica Sphinxes for fun. Build iPhones…

What I do know from the popular (but not too trashy) press (aka ABC) is that the USA’s reign as the world’s Super Power is all but over, with China taking up the seat, helped by a very eager President Xi Jinping, who if I understood correctly, is now set to hold his power until a major uprising de-thrones him.

What else I know is that China heavily blinkers its people’s view of the world (internet filter, controlled media), in addition to the heavy handed control over religion (ie banning it) and a whole lot more. They are also either the most populous country, or 2nd?

Meanwhile however those who can are leaving China to take up residence in other, less constricted habitats, finding the freedoms offered in those places quite liberating compared to the restrictive rule of the “People’s Republic of China”.

My question thus is - how long will it be before the people of China decide that this isn’t really a good thing, and revolt?

I physically laugh out loud when I hear talk of the people of Australia staging a revolution against the powers-that-be - because - I just can’t picture enough Aussies giving a rats. Whilst perhaps not perfect, our system of democracy gives us power to kick out the ruling party every few years (anyone seen the results in Wagga Wagga?), which tends to be enough to placate the masses. (Yes, it doesn’t really achieve much change, because Labour & Liberal almost play from the same handbook, but the token change makes people feel better, and the change brings balance to the country, with Labour tending to help the little people whilst they are in power, then the Liberals pushing power back to the upper echelons.)

What I don’t know is - are the people of China equally easily placated? Are they truly by and large kept so far in the dark as to not appreciate what’s happening on the world stage? Is the mentality one of - Hey, we’re going to be a Super Power - who cares if 1m Chinese people are in re-education camps because they believe in God… What re-education camps?

I’m still frankly shocked we’re all still alive this far into Trump’s reign of terror, but now thinking maybe Trump wasn’t even the worst possible outcome as far as world leaders are concerned…



PS This water cooler is making me thirsty.

I think I just wet my pants.

1984 has nothing on this.

Anyone who wants to know China’s intention only has to take a look at the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea. Check it out on google earth… then do it again next year. The Islands are a long way from China, but not that far from both Vietnam and the Philippines which claim ownership of the Islands, but which have not got the military power to stop China. Nobody has.

History teaches us that China is expansionist, its tried many times before and will continue to do so, except now, it has the muscle to back it up. Take a look at what happened in Tibet. Chinese farmers moved in, and the military was not far behind, and then suddenly, Tibet is being ruled by China.

Xi Jin Ping believes in his divine right to the position he’s in now. He will never be ousted, only death will see him gone. Some believe he is the reincarnation of Mao. I think he probably does, too.

China’s military and economic influence extends far beyond its borders, and anyone ignoring it does so at their own peril. I’m glad I will be long gone before Australia becomes a Chinese state.

As for that video… I saw it too, its terrifying. China is perfecting its control at home, - and its doing well because the population does not think theres anything wrong with it - before it starts on the rest of us. (whoops I just lost my 800 social credit points)

Everything you’ve written can equally be assigned to Trump as well.

We might not like Trump but he’s hardly in the same league. Xi can never be removed from office.

Trump doesn’t have the same resources.

Coming up on 30 years since Tiananmen… the failed revolution with up to 10,000 students killed… Imagine what social media could mean for a modern rebellion… except of course - the controls over the Net in China would likely mean those in power would simply shut communications down.

I guess it’s easy as someone who has grown up in a democracy (where we at least have the perception of choosing our leaders), to decide that communist rule is “bad”. In fact I don’t think that - I think the idea of communism is a good thing - it’s just the addition of humans that make it bad…

If/When China moves in to take care of the current demonstrations in Hong Kong, will the rest of the world sit back and watch, like they are doing with the Uighur “re education” camps?

Yep, thats exactly what will happen. China has become dominant in so many other areas, that stepping on its toes with regard to Hong Kong or the Uighurs is unlikely to happen. There will be a slap on the wrist which China will take offence to, and nothing more will happen. China already has more economic power than most of us realise, and theres no nation on earth that will stand up to it.

Time to start learning Mandarin and Cantonese.

I don’t think the west will do anything substantive about Hong Kong and the chance of Britain doing anything at all are basically zero given their focus is almost totally on Brexit right now.

I do think that the USA will move to attempt to contain China’s expansion outside the South China sea area. Their recent withdrawal from the intermediate range missile treaty and announcement of intent to locate installations in (yet to be announced locations) in the Pacific and their moves to ‘up gun’ the littoral vessel fleet suggest a gradual change in emphasis towards a model similar to what the Chinese have done in the South China sea.

It is IMO (and a lot of others) easier and cheaper to create an area of sea denial than project force into another area.

None of this should be taken to assume I support Trump because I don’t but there is some logical validity to the view that if a rising power is challenging an established hegemony that forcing a modest confrontation (economic or soft power) earlier rather than a war later has some validity. Combine that with a installations that make it expensive and very lossy to expand their area of control and the USA might just manage to contain the issue well towards 2050.

Will China implode?

I remember the performance of the 200 (?) drummers in the opening of their Olympic Games. Each was supposed to represent a different Chinese ethnic group. Before this, I had no idea that the PRC was so diverse.

The past 40 years has not been kind to countries comprising such diversity. Remember the USSR, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia.

Now Spain, with the Basque separatist movement and also the Catalan independence push, looks like a candidate for future division. Belgium has its antagonism between the Dutch speakers in Flanders and the French speakers in Wallonia. The UK has the Scottish independence movement.

Yet compared to these European countries struggling to meld a few ethnic groups, China looks like the ultimate candidate for future ethnic problems. (I understand only Tibet and the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have ethnic minorities in the majority. This may be a mitigating factor)

I suspect that only a very strong government will hold it all together.

The “re-education” camps are what really scare me. The scale of the endevour. And how it could be rolled out… globally.

This is chilling.

The Spratley Islands are borne out of the nature of what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Just look at all the helpless Guamanians. Look at all the Okanawans that are revolting now because they’re sick of the American boots on the ground. Ask yourself why so many American jackboots are now setting up camp in Darwin.

Among other things I am a trained IR specialist, I majored in it in my undergraduate years. I’m not pro China, I’m not pro America either though. Make of it what you will. I’m more concerned about the Guamanians that consider themselves Gumanians first and foremost. Guamanians who have had their independence taken away and don’t even have a seat representing them properly in the US government as an unincorporated territory.

Dont assume that because I am opposed to Chinese expansionism, that I approve of the American way of doing things. I dont.

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I don’t assume, I was just saying… I don’t make excuses for American exceptionalism either. Their duty bound honour to save the world, as laid out by Abraham Lincoln, has no jurisdiction in this country. It’s simply jurisprudent for me to acknowledge that.

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I know this is different from the prime minister making the same statement… but - with the UK foreign minister saying that the UK will not look the other way to ill treatment of people in Hong Kong… Is that paving the way for open conflict between the UK and China? And if so - the world?

Surely if the UK became seriously involved in the conflict (and - whilst they may not have any “rights” to Hong Kong any more - they cannot be anything other than invested in the area given their 100 year ownership), other countries would join them - potentially including Australia?

That’s a wicked problem that is intractable and difficult to perceive from a moderated perspective taking into account the liberal (note the small l) Wilsonian world order. Naturally I’m a constructivist which is a grabbag of perspectives that rely on the world environment being what you make of it and relying upon the pscyhosocial nature of states as living actors on the world stage.

The only thing I can tell you is that its becoming clear we soon will no longer be able to straddle the borders between “All the way with UK, USA” and the Asian century. Australia will have to choose whether it’s an Asian state or a Western state isolated in the middle of the South Pacific ocean.

This will dictate our response to the matter…

Now traditionally Labor tends to side with Asia and the Liberal Coalition tends to side with the AUSCANNZUKUS and Five Eyes relationship extending as far as to say the ONLY time the old ANZUS treaty has been formally activated was between John Howard and Younger Bush during September 11. The Strength of the Conservative relationship with those that remind us of ourselves is strong. The progressives tend to see us as part of the Asian environment, or as a bridge between Asia and the “West,” and the “Asia Pacific” region.

What will happen I guess at this time based on what I can say right now is that it will depend on who is elected if this issue with Hong Kong becomes a hot war. What I will also say putting on my IR hat for a while (among my undergraduate majors) is that Political Scientists and IR theorists are never really very good at determining the future.

This post in before the cowboys run roughshod throughout the room telling us that we should rely on more guns and bombs to solve the problem.

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