Monday, August 19, 2013

Fearing (for) China

For a while, it was convenient to focus on the "threat from China" in military and economic terms.  These days, not as much, in spite of the occasional Drudge headline.  Consider this:
Every story I cited is both recent and slow moving.  There is almost nothing that Chinese leadership can accomplish in the short run to solve these problems.  China doesn't have long, perhaps a decade, before its demographic curve pushes it towards Japanese levels of growth.  Unfortunately, because of these problems, it will not have the store of wealth that Japan has drawn against to prevent social unrest.  (Hint to opponents of greater legal immigration, population growth drives economic growth.)  I think that it is more realistic and worrisome to consider what a Chinese economic collapse would do to the world, rather than worrying about an economically dominant China.  A collapse would send the consequences around the globe.

I leave you with this admittedly older picture of Chinese pollution heading east.

What You Should Be Reading

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