China's Great depression … hina-2007/

didn’t get it from there but was talking about the same topic last december

The following may require careful review. not sure of the source,

i spoke to one of the heads of HBOS from the UK two years ago and he said that in the 70’s Brazil was touted as being the next big ‘thing’ and that it would outpace the USA/UK by 1990 etc… .never happened, sometimes ‘emerging’ economies might emerge but not go far beyond that, I am not convinced China will get to be the largest and still be stable by 2030 for the simple reason that they will collapse under their own weight, the proposal of ‘cheap labour’ will only get you so far, but food shortage can stymie them at any stage, the same as it did in their industrial revolution which occured 400 years before that of the UK (and they actually were producing more steel than the UK was centuries later!)

i’ve been wrong before and will be again, but all this talk of china some how ‘gaining’ top spot strikes me as lunacy, there is a shortage of freedom, a controlled currency, inflation and a host of other issues that can’t just be ‘passed by’ on the road to the top

I live in the region and would go for the middle forecast. It will not be a Brazil in the 1970s (the people are different), besides there are many examples of successful Asian tigers with Chinese ethnicity, Taiwan, Singapore, HK already (not including other examples such as Korea/Japan). China is not something NEW in that the model on a small scale has already existed for the last 30 years.
China has reached a critical mass of education which will propel it forward into the future at a slower growth rate but it will not go back or stagnate in anyway like Brazil. Can it surpass a country like Japan in levels of development though in the next 20 years? Not on your life.
It takes generations to reach that type of society level. The hardware is easy to build, it’s the software (as in people) that are not so easy to change.
Do we see any world beating companies coming out of China. The silence tells you something. Does China attract and will it attract foreign experts and even emigrated Chinese, with a few exeptions, no, because the living quality and salaries in general are very low. Chinese have this massive obsession with saving face so they will blow their horn about China until kingdom come but given the chance the vast majority will emigrate.

Due to it’s massive size and diversity it has huge differences in regional development and they do face serious issues due to farmland/water/energy shortages and aging population. The aging population is the one that will matter most as there is no social welfare so one child has to support two parents.

There’s a lot of fear out there especially in the US but it is completely overblown, Chinese are still decades behind US in military and economically 50-100 years behind. The motivations of Chinese are not the same as US. The US is more of an imperialistic country but the Chinese are just obsessed with getting ‘what’s they think is theirs’ -Taiwan, HK etc and having face as a powerful country in the world. They are not interested in taking over non ethnic Chinese areas and Chinese are not ideological in any sense beyond this basic patriotism.

Bascially it’s an example onto itself.

Investment wise unless you know the market sector I would stay away from it in the next few years…it has been over-hyped because of the Olympics and being ‘the next big thing’. Valuations depend on never ending high growth (remind us of something :slight_smile: ).

I’ve been trying to tell people this for years, but you just can’t get past the blind xenophobic hysteria. Some of it (in Ireland at least) amongst the older generation, seems to be fuelled by some (alleged) prophesy by (allegedly) Malachi, that “the yellow race will rule the world”. Loads of people over 65 believe that and are all in a panic at the minute.

Reuniting the Middle Kingdom, gaining and keeping face, and making money, that’s the essential motivations of the Chinese. The very idea of ruling an Empire containing millions of gweilo would strike them as completely barmy.

Oh I don’t know. They have invented a very clever mix of personal economic freedom with curtailed political freedom. It has been incredibly successful to date, beyond the wildest dreams of the most ardent bulls. A form of Fascism with the usual ethno-nationalism but without the strutting militarism.
To me, the West’s appeasement of China reminds me of the conduct of liberal democracies towards the fascist regimes of the 1930s. Beijing 2008 really does remind me of Berlin 1936.
Of course there are important differences, much less militarism and overt racism for a start. But fundamentally this is the appeasement of fascism by liberal democracies and I don’t think it will end well.
The success of China has inspired Russia, Cuba and Vietnam to follow suit. At what point does the West provoke the inevitable showdown?.

taipeir, the only caveat I would add to your otherwise excellent points are that the generations can be as short as two - Japan post the second world war reached it’s current societal level by the mid 1970s at the latest… that is two generations after they started. The Chinese are already at the end of the first generation, IMO. So twenty years may not be that far out.

And I also agree with Sidewinder. While there are population pressures expanding the numbers of chinese people in countries around the world, as far as I can see, the chinese have no interest in these expat populations. They have a clear sense of what constitutes China and do not have territorial ambitions outside that. A bit like the Irish really - excess population is exported.

Exhibit A, yer honour.

What’s “inevitable” about a “showdown”? That’s just chest-puffing swaggering macho talk. You even admit there’s no overt militarism, no impending gas chambers, and no evidence of territorial expansionism*, so why the hell are you spoiling for a fight? If they want to do things differently, let them. Sheesh.

  • No territorial expansionism beyond what you would expect: China seeking to reunite what they’ve always seen as their national territory, Russia seeking to regain strategic control over ближнее зарубежье, the “near abroad”.

Taipeir, I’d have to agree with you 100%.
In my days as a stockbroker I saw ‘the next best thing’ touted time and time again.
Its human to look upon past performance as a guide to future performance, but it rarely occurs.
In the first few years of communist russia, it outperformed the west by leaps and bounds. And we all know where that ended.

Always remember, with communist-like control, China can shift resources against the will of the population.
This has the effect of massaging their productivity figures to make them look a lot better than they are.
The chronic pollution issue in Beijing stands as a testament to this.
In the immediate term, there are lots of employment opportunities, but over the long-term, such pollution will have serious health implications.
Theres no way in hell that would be acceptable in any western country - and for good reason.

They have collossol internal problems, from corruption to serious wealth imbalances to lack of adequate infrastructure, social welfare and health care. And please dont try and say Ireland has the same issues. These are on a completely different scale. They also have the biggest one of all, they have yet to shed their communist/dynastic way of governance.
When it eventually comes, will it be violent ?

Furthermore, manufacturing is one thing, but coming up with the idea as to what to manufacture is a totally different ball-game.
There is a world of difference between the two.
I cant help but think their lack of freedom impeedes this.
Im sure over time they will create some world-beating companies, however until then, China will only be great at manufacturing other peoples ideas. Unless they can become a nation of idea builders, manufacturing will simply transfer, over time, to other low-cost economies.
Dont let the figues deceive you, they are still decades behind the west.

It’s not macho talk and I’m not spoiling for a fight. I just don’t believe both systems can co-exist for long. The West keeps hoping that as China matures it will somehow evolve into a liberal democracy. But the reality is that countries such as Russia are rapidly retreating from the principles of liberal democracy precisely because they see how successful the Chinese socio-economic model is.

Up to now, the West tolerated the Chinese experiment because it was seen as a necessary evil on the road to a Western style democracy. But what if the West has been conning itself, turning a blind eye because its corporations were making money hand over fist? What if China has no intention of introducing democracy? It has never made any commitment to do so. What will the West do then?

Incidentally, people who warned about appeasement of fascism in the thirties were also accused of macho war-mongering.

Er, what?

That doesn’t make any sense!

What should the West do if somebody else doesn’t have precisely the economic system the West wants them to have?


Who the f*** cares, as long as trade continues. The “West” doesn’t have to do anything. It’s none of your business what particular politico-economic model the Chinese, or anyone else, decides to adopt. If they can make it work for them, well that’s fine by me.

I just don’t get this One True Church evangelical fanaticism. If other people want to act/believe differently, and their actions are not directly threatening to your personal wellbeing, then just leave them the hell alone. What’s so difficult about that?

People are different. Get over it.

The bits you bolded refer to democracy, which is a political system, not an economic model.

Depends on how you define ‘work for them’. Edited to add: I believe it is our business how Chinese citizens are treated by their government, whether we’re trading with them or not.

White Man’s Burden, eh?

It all reminds me of the hysteria in the USA about Japan back in the 80s. That hysteria all seemed to blow over, and now it’s focussed on China - the latest rival to U.S. dominance.


Funny but missing the point (dare I suggest deliberately?)

Oh go on then, I’m bored.

Enlighten me as to why it is our business, to the point where you feel we should meddle in their internal affairs to eh nudge them in the right, proper and civilised direction.

My position is simple, straightforward, and requires no a-leaping through mental or linguistic hoops: I want a constitutional republican sovereign democracy for Ireland, cos based on our history and culture I think this model suits us best. I just don’t care what system other peoples see fit to implement for themselves, as long as the trade routes stay open. I certainly don’t feel the need to pontificate or lecture the Chinese on why their system is bad, or why their citizens are being treated poorly. That’s up to their citizens to sort out.

It clearly matters to you though, and Septic Crank.


Well said. If only more people (and governments) thought this way, there would be less strife in the world.

I think the Chinese take a more long term view on history:

  1. They were the preminent economic power in approx 1700 of last 2000 years. There is no reason that they cannot be again. At GDP per capita of 25% of US level they would be largest economic power.

  2. Many western countries (aka current liberal democracies) had control over parts of their territory within the last 100 years. Maybe there is some reluctance on the Chinese part to accept their advice on how to run their political affairs.

  3. They can innovate as well as manufacture: paper, gunpowder, movable type, the compass and world beating computer graphics that fooled most people into thinking they were real.