Following my article last week about China’s threat to Taiwan, I’ve had an unusually high number of contacts from blog readers and others, suggesting that China’s economy is in such dire straits that it’s no longer in a position to threaten anyone. I can only say, that’s a pipe-dream.
China is a centralized authoritarian state. It rules its people by diktat rather than by democratic legitimacy. Vlogger Winston Sterzel lived in China for over a decade, and doesn’t pull his punches when criticizing that nation. He has this to say about a possible Chinese collapse. I highly recommend watching his video in full, to gain some insight into how regimented and controlled China’s people really are.
If you’d like to learn more about what he experienced and observed in China, you’ll find many more videos on his YouTube channel. Recommended viewing. I think his comments above demonstrate that the likelihood of an internal Chinese collapse is small, because it won’t be allowed. You can do a lot in a dictatorial, command economy, where freedom is a pipe-dream. When the Chinese government went so far as to weld shut the doors on entire apartment blocks to enforce a Covid-19 quarantine, leaving people to literally starve in the absence of efficient food delivery, you get some idea what that means.
As for the threat China poses to Taiwan and other nations, Gordon Chang, a noted expert on that country, has this to say.
Last month, a Chinese entrepreneur making medical equipment for consumers told me that local officials had demanded he convert his production lines in China so that they could turn out items for the military. Communist Party cadres, he said, were issuing similar orders to other manufacturers.
Moreover, Chinese academics privately say the ongoing expulsion of foreign colleagues from China’s universities appears to be a preparation for hostilities.
The People’s Republic of China is preparing to go to war, and it is not trying to hide its efforts. Amendments to the National Defense Law, effective the first day of last year, transfer powers from civilian to military officials.
. . .
The amendments … “point to China’s ambition to achieve ‘whole nation’ levels of military mobilization to fight wars and give the CMC formal power to control the future Chinese capabilities for global military intervention.”
“The revised National Defense Law also embodies the concept that everyone should be involved in national defense,” reports the Communist Party’s Global Times, summarizing the words of an unnamed CMC official. “All national organizations, armed forces, political parties, civil groups, enterprises, social organizations, and other organizations should support and take part in the development of national defense, fulfill national defense duties, and carry out national defense missions according to the law.”
As Fisher told 19FortyFive this month, “For the past 40 years, China’s Communist Party has been preparing for brutal war, and now the ruling organization is accelerating its plans.”
. . .
“Be ready for battle.” That’s how Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post summarized Chinese ruler Xi Jinping’s first order to the military of 2019. In January of that year, he gave a major speech to the CMC on making preparations for war, and the address was then broadcast nationwide.
There’s more at the link.
Of course, what China says publicly, and what it’s actually going to do, may have little relation to each other. The Chinese Communist Party is notorious for dissembling, obfuscating and evasion – almost as much so as a typical US politician, in fact! Nevertheless, as I’ve said in these pages before, if it comes to a point where internal unrest becomes threatening, I’m sure China will try to focus its people’s energy on an external threat or military operation, to distract them from domestic issues. That’s been the habit of dictators and authoritarian regimes for millennia, and it’s not about to change.