Skip to comments.China's Coming Revolution
Posted on 12/30/2017 11:13:19 PM PST by GoldenState_Rose
The Chinese are anxious.
The fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution has spurred concern that China is heading into another decade of chaos and madness or perhaps a period leading to regime failure.
Mao Zedong, the founder of the Peoples Republic, triggered ten years of catastrophe on May 16, 1966. The campaign started as a ploy to rid himself of political adversaries. By the time it ended with his death in September 1976, however, society had torn itself apart and about a million people had either been killed or taken their own lives.
China, despite the passage of decades, has yet to heal. As Zhang Lifan, the outspoken Beijing-based commentator, notes, The residual impact still poisons the country.
And as Zhang Qianfan of Peking University says, Without fully accounting for that tragic episode, the country can never come to terms with its past and will always live in lingering uncertainty: Would the similar tragedy come back again, in some other forms?
The Communist Party, speaking through the authoritative Peoples Daily this month, affirmed the verdict it rendered in 1981 by terming the Cultural Revolution a complete mistake in both theory and practice. The ruling organizations essay was an attempt to close the door to a full airing, failing, for instance, to mention Maos involvement. The Party knows better than to expose its inherent failings and therefore undermine its legitimacy to rule.
Yet the attempt to end discussion has not worked in a noisyand sometimes defiantsociety, so conversation in China this year turned to the issue of whether there will be another Cultural Revolution. Xi Jinping, the current ruler, has stoked the concerns by continually wrapping himself in themes from the Maoist era. Our red nation will never change color, he declared in the middle of 2013, just before dedicating an exhibition that praised Mao and ignored his great crimes. Xi, in words and sometimes in deeds, embraces the man who had launched a decade of hysteria and frenzy.
As much as Comrade Jinping may fancy himself as this centurys version of the Great Helmsman, he will not start large-scale political violence manipulated and launched from the top down, the description of the Cultural Revolution by Liang Jing, a former official who has left China for a life of exile. Yet as Liang notes, turmoil in his former homeland in the future is not out of the question.
On the contrary, China looks like it is entering another period of extreme political instability. The Cultural Revolution, marked by the killings of high-level officials, has been followed by an era of relative calm brought about by Deng Xiaoping, who grabbed power from Maos designated successor, the hapless Hua Guofeng. Among other things, the canny Deng lowered the cost of losing political struggles, thereby reducing the incentive for cadres to fight to the end and tear the Communist Party apart.
Xi, however, has been raising the cost with an unprecedented campaign, which he has styled an attack on corruption. Chinas ruler has in fact been jailing the venal, but only those who were his political enemies. The miscreants who are family and those who are supporters remain free. In short, Xi launched a purge.
The purge continues to this day, a sure sign that Xi still has not consolidated power.
Another indication that he is on shaky ground is that critics have come out into the open, now calling his audacity to rule like Mao a symptom of new Caesarism.
Like the wilful Caesar, Xi has enemies. Xis enemies the last few months have dared to challenge him in public. For instance, the Partys Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, his main tool in the anticorruption effort, in early March posted on its website an attack on his authoritarianism in the form of an essay titled A Thousand Yes-Men Cannot Equal One Honest Advisor. There was also a call for Xi to step down, carried on a semiofficial website, and the official Xinhua News Agency published a piece identifying him as Chinas last leader.
Growing tension within the regime, economic turmoil and a more energetic public.
Furthermore, this month there was an extraordinary exchange between Xi and Li Keqiang, the countrys premier and No. 2 Party official, in the pages of Peoples Daily and the website of the State Council. The nasty fight over the proper amount of stimulus to apply to the economy, normally an issue discussed behind-the-scenes by technocrats, betrays not only elite disagreement in Beijing but also an inability to adhere to Communist Party norms that have kept peace since Dengs time.
China can fall apart not because Xi will organize the masses against his opponentsMaos sin that started the Cultural Revolutionbut because the elite looks like it is fracturing on its own and will be unable to deal with, among other things, systemic economic problems.
The economy has been, since the end of the 1970s, the motor of Chinas rise. At this moment, however, it could be the reason for the nations fall. Stimulus has become contentious in Beijing circles because this year the government, for the first time in more than a decade, has failed to create sustained growth, something apparent from Beijings panicked reaction to the economys weak start in the first two months of this year.
To jumpstart growth, Beijing added large amounts of credit in March as it abandoned all notions of reform and created debt like there was no tomorrow. The injection of almost $1 trillion into the economy in the first calendar quarter was more than twice that of the preceding quarter and the largest quarterly increase in history. All that money, however, could not prevent a disappointing April, when indicators almost uniformly pointed down.
The tumbling economy constitutes an emergency because the Communist Partys legitimacy, for more than three decades, has been primarily based on the continual delivery of prosperity. Now, most Chinese know nothing but a continually improving life and have, as a result, become demanding.
Some of those demands the Party has been able to meet, yet Xi Jinping, the admirer of Mao but also a disciple of Lenin, has become increasingly coercive. His regressive moves, however, are hard to sustain in a modernizing society, especially because the state has provoked so many across China, such as those who want to choose their leaders, or pray with neighbors who share faith, or have children without official permit, or move to cities and start new lives, or simply live as Tibetan or Uighur.
China may be the fastest changing place anywhere, with a people sophisticated, confident, energized and ambitious. When the one-party state stands between them and their aspirations, which is often, they usually find a way to work around obstacles, but sometimes this rambunctious people will leave the safety of homes and confront officials, even in this day of the police state.
Because of the closing of factories, the poor have started a wave of labor protests. Yet the rich also air grievances at a time of heightened sensitivity. These days, almost no complaint is too small to attract a crowdor spread from province to province. In the middle of this month, in Nanjing and at least five other cities in Jiangsu province and in Wuhan in Hubei, parents defied riot police and took to the streets to protest the reduction in number of spots for local students in universities.
Fifty years ago, the Chinese people followed Mao onto the streets, to learn revolution by making revolution as he exhorted them to do. Today, Xi Jinping glorifies the Great Helmsman and demands ideological purification, but few are prepared to follow him into a future that looks like the past and is therefore not relevant or attractive to them. The Chinese people are not yet fearlessthat could come soonbut they now think and act for themselves, often moving in directions without permission from the Communist Party.
Today, if there is any revolution in China, it is not one promoted by the new Mao, Xi Jinping. It is the one started by the Chinese people, who on their own are remaking society, outside the realm of the orthodoxy of the Communist Party and its feuding leaders.
Interesting read *Ping*
Freedom from communism *ping*
Chinese Communism is everything but anyway. Also China has a history of rise and fall. Modern conditions aren’t an anomaly. They were bigger than that comparing to the rest of the World before 19th century.
I believe any ‘revolution’ would screw them. They don’t have a tradition of representative government.
Also the biggest Chinese weaknesses is they aren’t a warrior nation and they barely understand other cultures making them subpar in diplomacy and overall foreign policy.
Also they love money above all so the treason is easily bought by outsiders.
In my opinion they are heading for a hard landing too.
It’s hard to tell what’s really going on in China, but one thing is for sure: Debt driven booms are always followed by Debt driven crashes. China’s going to hit one sooner or later.
They're a formidable bunch, the Chinese People, in my limited experience!
Unless we hit it first and drag them in with us.
China owns a lot of our debt.
There is so much debt in the world today held by all of the industrialized nations. It is only a matter of time before one fails and starts a cascade of failures.
I had not thought of this. I took the news reports of Xis campaign against corruption at face value.
I had not occurred to me that the anti-corruption campaign was a façade for purging opposition or rivals.
Communist have not been so subtle in the past. I guess it is a convent ruse in a government with so much corruption. Is some member of the party causing you grief? Find out how he is paying to send his child abroad to college and accuse him of corruption.
The most likely cause of a major economic crash in China will be the refusal of the larger part of the Free World to cooperate in their unfair trade and currency manipulation.
As long as American DemoRats, Crony Capitalists and Globalists are willing to accept Chinese bribes, that will not happen, even if the Free World had maintained their manufacturing infrastructure to replace Chinese manufacturing.
Don't hold your breath waiting for a loss of Commie control of Crony Capitalist China.
The NSC has no doubt briefed President Trump that China's systemic weaknesses make her vulnerable, even fragile, and that China could implode into massive civil disorder. While this would end China's menace as a potential rival to the US, it would also disrupt the US and world economies, which have come to rely on the output of China's factories and its demand for natural resources as drivers of economic growth. Worse, a Chinese collapse would present a nightmare of a security challenge like that of the Soviet collapse as China's weapons and technical talent went onto the black market and her internal rivals brandished nuclear weapons at each other.
I really do not get, where the “China is headed for a great crisis” critics are coming from.
They are out-producing us and everyone else. They are selling a massive amount of what the world consumes, and they really do not have any reciprocal trade, back to support America, or anywhere else.
It is time for America (it is long past time, for America indeed) to refocus on rebuilding our own country.
We have been sold badly down the tubes, by presidents of both parties. For decades.
It is time to rebuild America.
Because despite the economic numbers on paper, the regime is weaker than it appears.
The Chinese (especially young Chinese) are going to tire of their political oppression sooner or later. And the ghosts of Mao’s Cultural Revolution have not been escorted off premises yet. The baggage will eventually need to be dealt with. I think that’s the article’s point.
The election of Donald Trump was not only a blessing to us dear Americans, but a blessing to the entire world...I believe the Trump admin will make deals in ways that serve our interests, but also prevent catastrophes for offending parties (like China) - yet pave the way for freedom to emerge organically from within those countries...as can be seen right now in Iran. (All the protests and uprisings!)
A long way to go, but still a sign of things to come...
At this point, a debt deflation would ultimately be a major boon to the US. Cost of raw materials, food, and rents would come crashing down. Incomes would be less, but money would go a lot further and we could re-direct those raw materials back into our own industries assuming Trump can get the economy primed for it again. We can beat China with high tech factories and our greater resource might if we can get business conditions and infrastructure straightened out.
Under the Clinton, Bush, and Obama years US industry was going the way of Russia with deindustrialization.
But would debt deflation occur in a vacuum?
The only thing that props up the dollar is faith in the US to pay its debts. If it perceived that we are no longer good on debt, if those debts will no longer be paid in full the dollar will become worthless.
If the world loses its faith in the US all of the dollars held abroad as Hard Currency could come flooding back to the US as foreign holders of dollars unload them on to the market.
The US could suffer hyperinflation overnight.
China as one the largest holders of dollars could dump their holdings as an act of retaliation for a perceived slight at any time.
Any large holder of dollars dumping their dollars is going to start a run on the dollar as the holders of dollars try to salvage any value stored in dollars.
Chinese economy rode the wave of financial bubble and grew fast. Its economy has not undergone restructuring and consolidation which can provide firm foundation for their rise to the next level. The shakeout comes with painful economic adjustment, and China is ill-equipped to handle it. A majority of Chinese are still poor, and serious economic downturn could lead to a life where they have to worry about getting the next meal everyday. Such a pain could easily lead to a popular revolt.
The share of aging population is also rapidly rising. Even if they somehow miraculously fend off an acute crisis, they could head into long-term stagnation like Japan with heavy debt burden. Keeping unity would be increasingly difficult. More prosperous regions would not want to share the burden caused by backward regions inside China. There will be strong temptation to break away and maintain their prosperity. In short, when push comes to shove, they want to go their way to save their ass.
Just about every major economy today has a huge debt problem. Some are in better shape than others. Surprisingly, U.S. is one of the stronger ones. When crisis hits, more money will flood into U.S. than go out. China has a serious capital flight problem. Much of it found its way to U.S., driving up real estate price in many places. The financial crisis first started in U.S. and its ripple effect hit all corners of the world. Those places are the ones which are likely to fall first before U.S. does.
Notice how when talking about uprisings, Gordon Cheng, an apologist, omits the 1989 Tienanmen massacre?
What would any uprising look like? One only has to revisit the Tienanmen massacre documents where at least 10,000 people were murdered. The utter brutality of the squelching of that uprising would put ISIS to shame.
When citing the 10000 number, one must understand that there were some number of bodies in the 2000 range. Hospitals were forbidden to take in any but security people.
What happened to all the others? The 27 Army, mechanized, under orders to shoot or be shot, used tanks and armored personnel carriers with heavy machine guns mounted to bring order. On arriving, they formed up and opened fire on the crowds even other military units. When the large crowds of students were quelled, they used the APCs to pulp the bodies, then bulldozers to pile up the human pulp, burned it, and then used fire hoses to wash what remained into the sewers. How many was that? 10000 is likely a minimum, maybe a lot more.
In China, you only have your life at the sufferance of the government, which may not be so much particular to Communism, but historic.
Now that the middle eastern Islamic threat is put down, the real story will get the light of day. Civilization is coming apart at the seam China and Iran are the beginning.
This is going to be a VERY interesting year.
> The US could suffer hyperinflation overnight.
Possible, but as long as the US dollar is the primary index for oil, it’s unlikely. However, if the Chinese were to sink a US aircraft carrier group I think hyperinflation would soon follow. Once people lose faith in a government the velocity of that currency goes way up and sea powers like the US tend to have sudden rises and sudden collapses from power.
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