Raoul's China Saloon (V4.0 Beta)

The Bar Room => The BS-Wrestling Pit => Topic started by: Calach Pfeffer on June 28, 2015, 12:22:28 AM

Title: "China's rise"
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 28, 2015, 12:22:28 AM
To what? Prominence? Ascendancy?

I keep seeing this expression and wondering what it means and to whom it means what it means.
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Granny Mae on June 29, 2015, 12:00:56 AM
Calach, it seems strange when I read that the Chinese population tripled between 1700 and 1850 following the introduction of corn and potatoes from the Americas.  The article talks about nine common myths about the People's Republic which are said to relate to a long tradition of twisting facts regarding a country that has long loomed large in the West's imagination. It will be interesting to see what responses there are to this question.
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 29, 2015, 01:09:02 AM
China is closing its favorability gap (http://www.businessinsider.com/china-is-closing-its-favorability-gap-2015-6)

Despite growing international concern about Chinese-backed computer hacking and the South China Sea territory disputes with several neighbors, a new survey has revealed that China is being seen in an increasingly favorable light by people around the world. Findings from the Pew Research Center show that China is closing in on the U.S. in global favorability.

The survey found that most people see China replacing the United States as the world’s No. 1 superpower at some point. In a survey of 40 countries, a majority in 27 countries said China will or already has replaced the U.S. as the world’s leading power.

The view of China has become more favorable across the 35 countries surveyed this year and the last. In 2014, Pew said, a median of 49 percent had a positive view of China across these countries, but in 2015 it is 54 percent. Negative views fell from 38 percent to 34 percent.


/god help us all
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Granny Mae on June 29, 2015, 10:03:35 PM
My sentiments exactly Calach! bibibibibi
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on June 30, 2015, 02:07:21 AM
The good news is that countries don't become superpowers based on public opinion polls.  Sorry Belgium, no matter how much chocolate you give away to buy poll votes, it's not going to happen. ahahahahah

The news (good or bad - depends on your POV) is that economically (unless something wildly unexpected happens), indicator after indicator shows China catching up with or exceeding the US and EU.  Per-capita lags (yet still is gaining), but total production, total consumption, and GDP are all pointing to China being the #1 economy in the world.  When?  Depends on how you want to measure it.  If it was one simple number, statisticians and political pundits would need to get real jobs.  Maybe it's already happened.  Check the 3rd set of statistics here:


agagagagag btbtbtbtbt agagagagag
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 30, 2015, 02:34:37 AM
If superpowers and great powers are soverign states (or entities) that can exert influence on a global scale, with superpowers distinguished by their dominating influence, then what is China? Militarily, they're a regional power. My understanding is they can't project for shit, but they can mass like nobody's business along (percieved) mainland borders. Politically, they're dead in the water everywhere but Africa (and now maybe Russia and bits of Eastern Europe). Undiluted political influence requires their subjects be as antiglobal as they are, and weak aka emerging. Economically... well, I don't know what economic power means at a national level, but I'll assume China's increasingly central position in the global economy does mean they can hold the interests of any number of more developed powers hostage, and thus they can influence world direction.

But for socialists, they're damnably antisocial.
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on June 30, 2015, 08:28:54 AM
They hold enough debt from the US and other globally active countries that there isn't any need for excess military power.  I'm sure they looked at the number of times US forces were welcomed as liberating heroes only to be told "Yankee go home" a few months later.  China can also see how the USSR failed and the US got mired in debt from too many arms races and attempts to project power militarily.

With more and more economic cards to play, the only reasons China needs a reasonable sized military for is keeping the Russians from trying to nibble away at the border and to give the Japanese nightmares. ahahahahah
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 30, 2015, 09:28:11 AM
I don't understand how international debt works as a tool. What's the realpolitik that goes with it? I could understand if current flows of money were being restricted as a result of enterprise and other nations looking at debt sheets, and therefore the US being hamstrung in, say, paying for stuff at home (and maybe abroad), but can such influence be sophisticated? If there were any desired effects from pulling on purse strings, it seems like they're subject to massive amounts of interference from, I dunno, stuff. That is, economic causes and effects are about as determinate as any ripple in a global storm pond, aren't they?
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on June 30, 2015, 10:23:31 AM
The amount of debt involved is a 2-edged sword.  Of course, it's in everyone's best interests if China doesn't do this.  Then again, the US and USSR spend how long ready to vaporize the planet on 30 minutes notice?  However, if China decided they could live with the pain (economic weapons of this magnitude have fallout), they could dump crazy amounts of US dollars onto the foreign exchange market.  Since currency exchange rates are driven by supply and demand, this would be a big supply of dollars coming in a very short time.  The dollar would drop at an alarming rate.  If it went far enough and fast enough, panic selling would set in among anyone else holding dollars and dollar-derived debt.  With the dollar in free-fall, who's going to keep buying up all those bonds the US needs to sell just to pay for excess federal spending?  What will US companies use to buy items internationally as their dollars shrivel in comparison to other currencies?

Market manipulation goes on all the time on smaller scales.  China has enough to launch a price adjustment attempt on a scale never before attempted.  Think of it as the ability to create instability like the 2008 banking crisis at will.  If you really want to sleep well at night, note that China also has the ability to do this to Europe and a few other places.

It's the golden rule.  Whoever has the gold makes the rules.

Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 30, 2015, 11:52:28 PM
That doesn't seem like enough, tbh. Since I don't know what I'm talking about I may be under-imagining the substance of that power, but how is an economic doomsday weapon a tool? There has to be somethng more. If China just rolls up to every meeting with a threat to undermine global economics, they're the North Korea of superpowers.
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on July 01, 2015, 12:33:04 AM
First, consider the difference between the old USSR's stockpile in the 60's-80's and the handful of barely functional devices Crazy Kim III owns.  Threats without the capability of backing them up are useless.

Seconds, consider that unlike a nuclear exchange, where once one side fires, the other has no choice but to "use it or lose it", so will retaliate, the rest of the world doesn't hold any significant amounts of Chinese debt or money.  So, China can cause anything from a small warning ripple in the currency markets to an unpredictably huge tidal wave in financial markets with little fear of direct retaliation.

Previously, China would have been incredibly unlikely to do more than small ripples, due to the linkage of the Chinese, US, and EU economies.  Although Chinese banks were uninvolved in the 2008 near-failure of the western banking system, China took a big economic hit from fewer orders being placed.  The people at the top learned from this.  As Chinese internal consumption of factory goods grows and as their export markets and raw materials suppliers diversify (check your own note about Africa above), the Chinese economy becomes less vulnerable to the economic fallout that a failure of the US or EU economy would trigger.

Even if China doesn't ever use a "currency bomb", the steps towards independent economic sufficiency is a very wise move.  The EU is in another round of crisis over Greece and the US keeps piling on over a trillion of new debt every year.  Both situations are further destabilizing the currencies and economies of the west.  Of course, as the western economies do this to themselves, they become more vulnerable to all forms of economic pressure as China's economy continues to grow.

Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 01, 2015, 04:09:10 AM
I begrudge them their rise. China - the government and united people - are too obviously unsympathetic to seemingly obvious worldly concerns. They are dangerous.

It's a bit hard to put that aside and see their rise as reasonable and organic. There *must be* something in there that will be their undoing.
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on July 01, 2015, 06:28:51 AM
I'm sure many people in the UK felt the same way as those ungrateful former colonies to the west and the Soviets to the east eclipsed the formerly mighty British Empire and became the dominant superpowers. ahahahahah
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 01, 2015, 08:23:31 AM
Did the US ever aggrandise itself in so farcical a fashion? (Russia did and look what happened to them):

CPC's governing capacity win worldwide praise (http://en.people.cn/n/2015/0701/c90000-8913853.html)

BEIJING, July 1 -- On the occasion of the 94th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), foreign experts and scholars spoke highly of the party's governing capacity and efforts in the fight against corruption.
Mohamed Abdel-Wahhab al-Saket, a former Arab League ambassador to China, said the CPC's glorious achievements have drawn worldwide attention.
In its over 90 years' history, CPC has led Chinese people in accomplishing two historic missions -- national independence and economic prosperity, elevating China's international status and national strength to a level higher than ever before, he said.
He said that since Xi Jinping assumed the post as general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, the party has focused on two main tasks.
"The first is to deepen comprehensive economic reforms under the slogan 'economic new normal.' It includes promoting new high-tech industries and eliminating outdated ones, simplifying administrative examinations and approvals to stimulate market vitality, establishing several free trade regions to enlarge opening to the outside world, etc," al-Saket said.
"The second is to harshly crack down on corruption under the slogan 'eliminating tigers and flies together,'" he added.
Besides, he said, the CPC is also undertaking institutional reforms to establish a long-term anti-corruption mechanism, and strengthening international cooperation to catch corrupted officials who have fled overseas.
"By taking these anti-corruption measures, CPC has increased its popularity among Chinese people and consolidated its ruling foundation," al-Saket said.
Yakov Berger, a senior researcher with the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said strict orders and discipline are the core of the forceful management and supervision of the CPC.
Fruitful results over the past two to three years in the CPC's fight against corruption showed the determination of the party leadership to fight corruption, he said.
Igor Denisov, a senior researcher at the Center for East Asia and Shanghai Cooperation Organization Studies at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said all authorities and administrative departments in China, including sensitive institutions of the military and security department, are involved in the anti-graft struggle.
He said effective national administration is decided, to a large degree, by the effective supervision of officials at any level by the CPC.
China is on its way to root out corruption and ensure the lawful and effective enforcement of any kinds of rules, he said.
Zheng Yongnian, director of the East Asian Institute in Singapore, said the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012 has brought the issue of anti-corruption to a new height and China's new leadership also put the issue on top of its agenda.
Via the whistle-blowing website opened by the disciplinary body of the CPC, ordinary citizens can easily report corrupt officials, and within the party there is also a top-down approach against corruption, Zheng said, noting that the corruption probe regarding the military has enjoyed great support.
The approach China has taken to fight graft is not only unique but had resounding impact, and China's zero tolerance to corruption has offered crucial lessons for Kenya, said
Paul Kamau, a senior research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Nairobi.
Samuel Kimeu, head of the Kenyan branch of Transparency International, said the renewed anti-corruption fight in China is obviously commendable and China has inspired the world by "taking the bull by the horns."
The aggressive hunt for corrupt fugitives demonstrates China's unwavering strong stance against graft, he said.

Incidentally, a Bing of that supposed quote from Samuel Kimeu yields only links to the above article.

Likewise with the supposed Paul Kamau "quote".
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 01, 2015, 09:57:35 AM
Come to think of it, maybe they did. "We hold these truths to be self-evident..."

The US Constitution (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html) begins:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

The PRC Constitution, when translated (http://en.people.cn/constitution/constitution.html), begins:

"China is one of the countries with the longest histories in the world. The people of all nationalities in China have jointly created a splendid culture and have a glorious revolutionary tradition. Feudal China was gradually reduced after 1840 to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. The Chinese people waged wave upon wave of heroic struggles for national independence and liberation and for democracy and freedom. Great and earth-shaking historical changes have taken place in China in the 20th century. The Revolution of 1911, led by Dr Sun Yat-sen, abolished the feudal monarchy and gave birth to the Republic of China. But the Chinese people had yet to fulfil their historical task of overthrowing imperialism and feudalism. After waging hard, protracted and tortuous struggles, armed and otherwise, the Chinese people of all nationalities led by the Communist Party of China with Chairman Mao Zedong as its leader ultimately, in 1949, overthrew the rule of imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism, won the great victory of the new-democratic revolution and founded the People's Republic of China. Thereupon the Chinese people took state power into their own hands and became masters of the country."

Et cetera.
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Escaped Lunatic on July 02, 2015, 01:19:29 AM
Did the US ever aggrandise itself in so farcical a fashion?

The US history of self -serving propaganda is infinitely worse.  Woe unto any primary school student who declines to recite the advertising sales pitch designed solely to sell more flags to school Pledge of Allegiance to the piece of starred and striped cloth.  There is legal protection for declining to participate, but it's sort of like the legal protection to eat a hamburger in the middle of a vegetarian street rally.

Check the Congressional Record for more self praise for the country, for each state, and for each and every congress person who ever had a moment to make a speech.

A large percentage of government press releases (all governments worldwide) are just bragging about how great the government is doing.
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 02, 2015, 02:51:15 AM
Fair point. But the premable to the Chinese constitution reads like a high school essay. At least the US started with something grand.
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 02, 2015, 03:10:11 AM
And since as we all know the consitution of the country is subordinate to the constitution of the communist party, here it is:

Constitution of the Communist Party of China (http://www.china.org.cn/english/congress/229722.htm)

Turns out it kinda blows too is more exciting than the country constitution, but really is kind of dry too. Eg "Marxism-Leninism brings to light the laws governing the development of the history of human society. Its basic tenets are correct and have tremendous vitality." Now there's prose to pledge your allegiance too, amirite?! Maybe it's more compelling in Chinese.
Title: Re: "China's rise"
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 12, 2015, 12:43:04 AM
The entire world learned a very important lesson about China this week (http://www.businessinsider.com/the-entire-world-learned-a-very-important-lesson-about-china-this-week-2015-7)

As the entire world watched mainland China's major stock indices plunge this week, it learned something very important about the country that, for the most part it didn't know before.

China is fragile.

After a massive 150% rally in the Shanghai Composite Index over the last year, on June 12 China's largest stock market (and it's smaller Shenzen Index) started to plummet.

Before the bleeding stopped on Thursday, Shanghai had erased gains from April, May, and June.

And the entire country was shocked — almost as shocked as the rest of the world. China's leading Communist Party (CCP) had been very clear. The people were to buy stocks, and so they did the whole year through up to this point — taking out high-interest-rate loans to do so with gusto.

So when the downturn came, it hit retail investors — who make up 25% of China's stock market — hard. The government tried to do everything it could to stop the stock slide. It ordered large investors not to sell for six months, launched an investigation into short sellers, threw almost $20 billion at the problem, canceled IPOs and more.

The Chinese people responded by blaming foreign bankers, waiting for their government to bail them out completely, and, in some extreme cases, committing suicide.

The odd thing about all this is, as many retail investors as there are in China's stock market, the money actually in the market only makes up about 15% of household assets.

So why the freak out?

Almost the entire world thinks that China is about to or already has overtaken the US as the global superpower, according to a Pew Research Center Poll.

But a 30% stock market slide sent the entire government into emergency mode.

And that is because, despite what the world thinks, China is fragile....

/sky /fallen