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Chinese Military,Political and Social Superthread

Colin Parkinson

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Keeping in mind the fishing fleet is partly organized as a militia, so not only is it a commercial operation, but a paramilitary arm of the PLAN/CCP.
 

cavalryman

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Let's face reality. The People's Republic of China poses an existential threat to the rest of the planet.
 

MilEME09

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Phillipines is done talking nicely apparently
 

Altair

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Phillipines is done talking nicely apparently
I really do wish that all diplomats could talk like this without being fired.
 

Kirkhill

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CBH99

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Imagine if Jeff Bezos crossed some undocumented social line, and disappeared.

That's what happened to Jack Ma, head of Alibaba.

It's odd to say that I would be extremely surprised if they did anything to Jack Ma, given how high profile he is. His company is world known, and he has become a popular figure online, and is frequently asked to be a speaker at a variety of events. Given his wealth, status, and high profile -- I would be extremely surprised if he was 'disappeared' by the state, the same way a lowly commoner would be.

Why I feel odd about the above is because I EQUALLY would be unsurprised if they silenced him somehow.
 

Colin Parkinson

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This is likley to impact the supply and cost of solar panels here in North America Solar Panels from China: The Next Forced Labor Battleground: - Harris Bricken

The campaign against Xinjiang cotton evidently rankled China, but a new focus of attention is emerging: solar panels. In the past, there were allegations “that forced labor in Xinjiang has been used to produce polysilicon, a key component for making solar panels.” Now a report from Sheffield Hallam University points to forced labor use in the “mining and processing of quartz, the raw material at the very start of the solar panel supply chain.”
 

CBH99

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The Chinese Communist Party gets to build guns by depriving its people of butter.

How important are pride, honour and face to the average Han citizen? To the non-Han citizens?
While VPNs are quite common, and not really enforced at all, a lot of Chinese citizens have lived their entire lives, grown up with their media & education, and are blissfully unaware of how their government is viewed by the outside world. China does have "the great firewall of China" after all, and I would say large percentage of the population have been drinking the Kool-Aid they have been given since they were kids. (The younger generation seems to regularly access the internet of the outside world.)

They have a very real national fervor happening right now, and it has been happening for over a decade. A rapidly growing middle class, modern apartments, access to cars, and many of them with enough financial clout to be able to invest/travel/move outside of China.

Their history classes focus on what they endured as a country at the hands of the British Empire, as well as Japan during WW2. They see themselves rising up, have the national energy to fuel those beliefs, the population to support those beliefs, the media constantly showing them new modern military equipment being commissioned, and the same media focusing on the 'over-reaching American empire meddling in China's affairs.'

(My sister just got back from China after being there for 18 months as a teacher. Dozens of questions were fired her way!)

As far as the average citizen is concerned, I would imagine most of them are accepting the various situations/tensions more of less as they are being portrayed to them 🤷‍♂️
 

Kirkhill

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So would a British Carrier in a Japanese port, or a Taiwanese port, be more of an irritant, more of a red rag, than a continued US presence? China may see Britain in particular as an achievable propaganda defeat. Australia as a British proxy as far as the Chinese are concerned?
 

MilEME09

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If you want to hurt China, go aggressive on the cyber front, take down the great fire wall. If the nation could soak in the world unfiltered, it wouldn't take long for the collective thought to turn against Beijing, especially in non-han areas.
 

GR66

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If you want to hurt China, go aggressive on the cyber front, take down the great fire wall. If the nation could soak in the world unfiltered, it wouldn't take long for the collective thought to turn against Beijing, especially in non-han areas.
You're talking about a cultural change here. The party line had been indoctrinated into the Chinese population for generations. I think you're underestimating the amount of time it would take for the average Chinese citizen to change the way they think about the world.

I'm thinking you'd likely have to permanently take down the great fire wall and combine that with the same type of Voice of America push of information into China as was done in the USSR during the Cold War while at the same time dealing with Chinese counters to our actions.

And can anyone say with any certainty how much of an influence that VOA had on the eventual fall of the Soviet Union? How much of it was the failing economy and the war in Afghanistan that turned the people against the regime rather than glimpses of the openness and freedom of the West? And China is in a very different situation. They are currently on the rise as a power and the government has succeeded in bringing millions of citizens out of poverty and their country to a new level of international power and prominence.

I think sometimes we are blinded by our belief that because we whole heartedly embrace our Western Liberal Democracy and our way of life, so assume that everyone else automatically want to leave their own unique cultures behind and become just like us. Wanting to be as wealthy as us doesn't necessarily mean they want our beliefs as well.

$.02
 

Colin Parkinson

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Good news for the rest of the world


The 12 million births reported last year were down nearly one-fifth from 2019. About 40% were second children, down from 50% in 2017, according to Ning Jizhe, a statistics official who announced the figures on May 11.

The share of working-age people under 60 in China’s population of 1.4 billion fell to 63.3% last year from 70.1% a decade earlier, according to census data. The group aged 65 and older grew to 13.5% from 8.9%.
 

Edward Campbell

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You're talking about a cultural change here. The party line had been indoctrinated into the Chinese population for generations. I think you're underestimating the amount of time it would take for the average Chinese citizen to change the way they think about the world.

I'm thinking you'd likely have to permanently take down the great fire wall and combine that with the same type of Voice of America push of information into China as was done in the USSR during the Cold War while at the same time dealing with Chinese counters to our actions.

And can anyone say with any certainty how much of an influence that VOA had on the eventual fall of the Soviet Union? How much of it was the failing economy and the war in Afghanistan that turned the people against the regime rather than glimpses of the openness and freedom of the West? And China is in a very different situation. They are currently on the rise as a power and the government has succeeded in bringing millions of citizens out of poverty and their country to a new level of international power and prominence.

I think sometimes we are blinded by our belief that because we whole heartedly embrace our Western Liberal Democracy and our way of life, so assume that everyone else automatically want to leave their own unique cultures behind and become just like us. Wanting to be as wealthy as us doesn't necessarily mean they want our beliefs as well.

$.02
Actually, rapid change is possible in China; I would offer 1949-1965 as an example. Seldom has any country, anywhere, ever, seen as rapid or as broad a socio-economic 'revolution' as China did, then. Maybe Britain in the late 18th century (1760-1790) and America and Germany in the 1830s, '40s and '50s. It had little to do with Mao and almost everything to do with Zhou Enlai, Soong Ching-ling and a few others.

Propaganda works. I think ~ cannot prove, of course, but I have examined it a fair amount ~ that Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and, above all, the BBC World Service had a massive impact on Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. I would suggests that the BBC did more than any other agency,,including the US Military, to contain the spread of Marxist-Leninist ideas in Asia. The World Service did not flog the Anglo-American line: but it was "liberal" and honest. Afro-Asian listeners were discerning enough.
 

dimsum

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Good news for the rest of the world


The 12 million births reported last year were down nearly one-fifth from 2019. About 40% were second children, down from 50% in 2017, according to Ning Jizhe, a statistics official who announced the figures on May 11.

The share of working-age people under 60 in China’s population of 1.4 billion fell to 63.3% last year from 70.1% a decade earlier, according to census data. The group aged 65 and older grew to 13.5% from 8.9%.
From the article:

“The aging of the Chinese population grows faster than we expected,” said Yi Fuxian, a senior scientist in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
I'm not sure how that can be more than expected - it's not like people age faster or slower...
 

GR66

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Actually, rapid change is possible in China; I would offer 1949-1965 as an example. Seldom has any country, anywhere, ever, seen as rapid or as broad a socio-economic 'revolution' as China did, then. Maybe Britain in the late 18th century (1760-1790) and America and Germany in the 1830s, '40s and '50s. It had little to do with Mao and almost everything to do with Zhou Enlai, Soong Ching-ling and a few others.

Propaganda works. I think ~ cannot prove, of course, but I have examined it a fair amount ~ that Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and, above all, the BBC World Service had a massive impact on Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. I would suggests that the BBC did more than any other agency,,including the US Military, to contain the spread of Marxist-Leninist ideas in Asia. The World Service did not flog the Anglo-American line: but it was "liberal" and honest. Afro-Asian listeners were discerning enough.
If by rapid you mean 10-30 years then I'd agree change is possible (and in fact I think it will be likely...eventually...in China). That kind of timeframe gives the Chinese government the opportunity to read the sea change and adjust to meet the changing demands of the population.

My impression from the original post however was that it was being suggested that if we somehow took down the great firewall that the people would fairly rapidly see the light and turn against the government in some kind of revolutionary way. I find that scenario less likely...not impossible...but much less likely as long as the CCP is able to keep the Chinese economy growing.
 

Kirkhill

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Further to internal stresses and strains in China


Apparently, according to the article China is spending 216 Bn USD on internal security trying to keep the lids on. More than it is officially claiming on Defence. But the Defence claim is being low-balled. At least in comparison with Western standards

America may not even be the world’s biggest spender in real terms, let alone spend more than the next ten countries combined. His verdict: “despite China’s ridiculously low official defense spending figures, the value of its defense budget may have surpassed what the U.S. actually spends on defense.”

Actually being the keyword.

As it turns out, China tries to ameliorate worries about its burgeoning military might by lowballing spending figures. It can acquire military personnel and hardware more cheaply than can the United States, giving it an edge in defense “purchasing power parity,” to borrow economists’ term. Meanwhile, much of the U.S. defense budget, now northwards of $700 billion per year, does not go to buying usable combat power. And what combat power it does buy is pricier than the equivalent for China’s People’s Liberation Army. For instance, The Economist of London reports that the U.S. military pays junior folk sixteen times more than their PLA counterparts.

These factors cancel out the apparent disparity between defense spending at least in part; Greenwalt suggests they cancel it out altogether. He points out that the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has adjusted up Chinese defense spending from the official figure of $184 billion to $252 billion.

Drawing on research out of Australia, The Economist estimates it at $518 billion—double SIPRI’s figure.

If the arithmetic understates China’s martial prowess, it overstates America’s. Representative Anthony Brown, the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, observes that the top line for U.S. defense budgets—$715 billion for this coming year if the Biden administration gets its way—misleads. “We spend $1 billion more on Medicare in the defense budget than we do on new tactical vehicles,” Brown reports. “We spend more on the Defense Health Program than we do on new ships. In total, some $200 billion in the defense budget are essentially for nondefense purposes—from salaries to health care to basic research.”

Deducting $200 billion from $715 billion in apparent U.S. defense spending yields $515 billion in real defense spending—a mite less than the Economist tally for Chinese spending on the PLA.


A high risk venture might be for the Brits to take the QE Task Force through the China Seas while Xi is feeling personally vulnerable.
 

Kirkhill

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From the article:


I'm not sure how that can be more than expected - it's not like people age faster or slower...

No, but perhaps they are being surprised by the choices or circumstances of the young.

The young may be choosing not to have children. The young may not be able to have children because there are more sperm donors than fertile wombs. The young may be leaving. The young may be dying off earlier due to toxins, disease, depression or suicide. That will shift your population curve to the right in a hurry.
 
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