Everyone seems so concerned these days that China is on the rise, that China will somehow surpass us and even threaten our well being in the future.
I am not.
Sure, China has had quite a last 25 years and has built its once feudal economy into an economic juggernaut. The Chinese have put a bunch of their profits into our T-bills and bonds and own “a piece of the rock” for sure. However, what goes up must come down, especially if it was built on a questionable foundation in the first place.
China might be capitalist, but it is no democracy. Their system is rife with corruption and is “fixed” in favor of state owned controlling companies that have maneuvered themselves into monopoly status and robust growth. Add to that the party dictatorship that can and does control social change to improve the profitability of these companies. Insiders and party people control the stakes in the cities and, especially in the countryside.
Local government is as corrupt as it gets, disenfranchising their people for the sake of developers’ kickbacks, party favor and out-and-out bribes. The country government is dysfunctional, relying on fear still and iron party rule reinforced by military and police force.
The collapse of poorly built schools in earthquakes in 2008 killed 5,000 children due to shoddy construction driven by corruption. Protesting parents were tried and jailed in their grief. So were they again when hundreds of thousands of people were sickened by tainted milk in a scandal that was quickly swept out of sight.
Oh, they can pull off a showy Olympics, for which their command economy diverted huge resources to propel front and center to the world. But the backdrop of a forced economy and a ruined environment left no doubt to the rest of the world that this effort was stage managed window dressing.