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Is China’s high-growth era over – forever?
Al Jazeera ^ | 24 January 2023 | Liam Gibson

Posted on 01/24/2023 9:07:41 PM PST by Cronos

With its population declining, China’s period of rapid growth is likely over. How it copes is critical for the world.

...The country’s economy expanded by only 3 percent in 2022. Growth is projected to remain slow in the early quarters of 2023 before rebounding strongly in the second half of the year, according to a survey of 37 economists conducted by Nikkei in December. The average GDP growth figure put forth by the group was 4.7 percent, with the vast majority of predictions falling between 4.0 and 5.9 percent.

Yet even the most optimistic recovery scenario for China does not portend a return to the soaring growth rates that the country was used to for decades. China’s GDP has grown at an average of nearly 10 percent annually since Beijing embarked on economic reforms in 1978.

...China’s years of high GDP growth meant that its economy ballooned more than tenfold between the turn of the century and 2021, from $1.2 trillion to nearly $18 trillion, according to World Bank data

...Before 2008, productivity growth averaged 2.8 percent but has slowed to just 0.7 percent a year since then.

....Xi has shifted Beijing’s policy focus away from a “growth at all costs” mantra pursued by previous post-reform leaders. Instead, he has emphasised “high-quality growth”, which features as a guiding principle in China’s current five-year plan

...Xi has adopted the Mao-era catchphrase of “common prosperity” as a guiding economic principle, turning Beijing’s focus towards addressing inequalities, from housing to healthcare and education

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: aljazeera; china; fakenews; redchina
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Perhaps Xi will focus more internally?
1 posted on 01/24/2023 9:07:41 PM PST by Cronos
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To: Cronos

Rest of the western world is also in demographic free fall. So relative power is relative.

when conservative families outbreed liberal ones, we have to shut down their nonsense.

2 posted on 01/24/2023 9:14:12 PM PST by Bayard
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To: Cronos

The renewable energy/electrification lobby will come to China’s rescue. In addition to controlling much of the worlds’ rare earth and lithium supply, they have quietly seized control of half the world’s copper supply. Without all of these metals, the tech era is dead; and China controls the markets for them all.

3 posted on 01/24/2023 9:21:58 PM PST by hinckley buzzard ( Resist the narrative.)
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To: Bayard

A country of 1.35 Billion does not have a labor problem.

4 posted on 01/24/2023 9:23:10 PM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn...)
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To: central_va

No, and they have a lot of folks in the farm sector that can
be transported into the major manufacturing centers to work.

I believe they have a deep well of warm bodies to be used
for manufacturing type jobs.

5 posted on 01/24/2023 9:43:40 PM PST by DoughtyOne (I pledge allegiance to the flag of the USofA & to the Constitutional REPUBLIC for which it stands.)
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To: Cronos

Yes - Xi has basically said the same for the last two years.

He thinks rapid growth contributed to massive corruption, too much power to “useless capital” in tech and social media, too much wealth to private oligarchs, dangerous bubbles - particularly in real-estate, and too much “sucking up” to the West.

6 posted on 01/24/2023 9:48:00 PM PST by PGR88
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To: central_va; DoughtyOne

LOL. The average age of China will surpass the U.S. by 2030, if not sooner. You are not taking into account how rapidly the workforce is aging. And 1.35 billion is their exaggerated number. It’s less than that.

7 posted on 01/24/2023 10:26:01 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Thanks for the mention of that dynamic.

I don’t think I’ve ever looked at their population break-
down compared to the U. S.

At least not in the age demographics part.

8 posted on 01/24/2023 11:14:35 PM PST by DoughtyOne (I pledge allegiance to the flag of the USofA & to the Constitutional REPUBLIC for which it stands.)
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To: hinckley buzzard

9 posted on 01/25/2023 12:45:02 AM PST by Cronos
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To: nickcarraway

Good point - the USA’s average age in 2019 was 38.1. China’s in 2019 was 37 and in 2022 was 38.4

So they’ve already surpassed the USA — I am surprised. Thank you for bringing up that point and providing that knowledge

10 posted on 01/25/2023 12:46:56 AM PST by Cronos
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To: central_va

RE: A country of 1.35 Billion does not have a labor problem.

Maybe a non-slave labor problem.
Dissidents’ and ethnic minorities’ free labor may cut down job availability for normal paid workers.

11 posted on 01/25/2023 1:13:33 AM PST by frank ballenger (You have summoned up a thundercloud. You're gonna hear from me. Anthem by Leonard Cohen)
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To: Cronos
It has become fashionable today to identify prosperity with population. The idea that demography is economic destiny is being advanced by popularizers of geopolitical theory like Peter Zeihan, but do these theorists have it right, have they put the cart before the horse?

This is a vital question affecting those nations, the most important nations who are experiencing diminishing populations. Japan has been leading the way with the aging of its citizens but it is closely followed by the whole of northern Europe, especially Germany. These are two of the greatest economic powerhouses of the world and both, together with the rest of Europe, must now cope with the effects of diminishing population. Is there a solution?

The United States is dodging this bullet for a time with immigration but it's core demographic is also suffering a diminished birthrate, although apparently to a lesser degree than elsewhere.

When we look at the record of success of Japan, Germany and the US, we see two different economic models. Japan and Germany are similar in that they have since World War II essentially tended toward mercantilist economies, and export has made them rich. Germany, for example, as exported 40% up to 50% of its GNP. To whom have they exported? First in line, of course, was the United States as the importer of Japanese electronic consumer goods and cars and German automobiles and tools.

In the wake of World War II, the United States as the single intact nation of size, initially exported to the world but, significantly, for political reasons consciously surrendered its Mercantile dominance to the benefit of the allies it was creating to stand against the Soviet Union.

As the United States ceased to be a mercantilist exporter, it nevertheless provided a high standard of living to its people by virtue of its superpower position, the reach of its Navy, its abundant energy, mineral and foodstuff resources and it's position as the world's reserve currency. As time went on, politicians understood that they could spend more and more because they had the near infinite power to borrow more and more.

The United States today, with $31 trillion in debt, untold trillions in unscheduled liabilities, all held hostage to little understood derivatives, is perhaps now experiencing what happens when the music stops playing. The question for the United States now appears to be whether the music will stop because the bond market becomes unwilling or unable to finance an ever-increasing debt or because entitlements, especially the Ponzi scheme called Social Security, simply exhaust the treasury.

A lot of very smart people have gone broke being right at the wrong time so it is a fool's errand to predict the timing of the comeuppance for our profligacy but one wonders how much longer the inevitable can be postponed?

Whenever since the war it appeared that the music might stop playing left-wing economists told us that the economy is driven by consumption and that the solution to downturns, or even Black Swan type economic shocks, was to borrow more and infuse money into the economy. This we have done with increasing abandon but decreasing effectiveness. Worse, it has distorted the economy creating a class of mega-wealthy but an increasingly struggling middle class.

If consumption is to be our salvation, it is necessary to cultivate consumers and thus a rationale emerges for open borders as intrinsic population growth diminishes. The author of the piece leading this thread observes:

[In China], you can continue losing money for a very long time if it’s politically necessary… but it’s not reflective of the underlying productive capacity of the economy,

And so it has been in the United States, Democrat politicians have married their personal quest for electoral power to the idea that immigration will increase consumption and the music will play on.

Let us now return to the article and consider the author's observation concerning China:

" In essence, the idea is to lessen China’s reliance on export-driven growth by building an economy fuelled by domestic consumption, said experts. A robust internal market can act as a buffer against shocks from a volatile global trading system and Western sanctions. China’s new strategy also aims to reduce China’s carbon footprint while pursuing cutting-edge technologies, like advanced semiconductors and quantum computing. Developing these technologies at home has become even more important for the country amid a wave of tough export control restrictions imposed by the US aimed at crippling China’s chips industry. "

Japan, Germany and the United States all have at least one common conceit, all believe they are on the cutting-edge of technology. Japan is running out its string to borrow and cover political decisions. Germany is under terrible strain, compounded by the energy crisis. The question for these countries, can they increase productivity by advanced technology to the degree that they can compensate for grim economic realities inevitably unfolding?

If Japan does not have enough humans to man (forgive the misogyny) production lines, can it successfully substitute robots and continue profitably exporting to the world?

It seems the four most powerful economies in the world are confronted by the same problem and, not surprisingly, all four are contemplating the same solution: substitute technology for manpower.

America is adding immigration as part of its solution. China, no doubt, is partly motivated by a hegemonic impulse that nevertheless must acknowledge it cannot wage wars or even intimidate its neighbors without damaging it's mercantilist enterprises, hence, the need to compensate with a domestic consumption market.

If there is any upside to the Ukraine war it is that China must recognize that it cannot continue to pursue economic growth through exports and also invade Taiwan. Indeed, China's belligerency is inexplicable in view of the fact that for only a few millions of dollars it has managed to subvert every American institution including our President,, even as it continues to enjoy huge investment from America and continues to exploit the American consumption market. Why start shooting when everything, including Taiwan, will almost certainly fall into China's lap like ripe fruit?

I have always been fond of the expression that Donald Trump had to be canceled because he was breaking too many rice bowls. He nearly succeeded in breaking China's grip on America. Biden, ironically, might through ineptness and inadvertence succeed where Trump failed. But the deep state has had its deep pockets filled for at least two generations by the triangle trade with China: Chinese "bribes" to American institutions and politicians, American money by way of investment and consumption going to China, American foreign and economic policy in favor of China. Sundering that relationship, so lucrative to Wall Street and to multi-millionaires in the Senate, will be a daunting task indeed.

History tells us that demographics does not always dictate economies. For example, the move from the farm to the cities did not create the Industrial Revolution but the Industrial Revolution moved the population into the cities and ended the agrarian economy as a dominant way of life. The great plague changed the economics of labor, especially peasant labor. The recent Corona virus has moved people out of the cities. These events shaped population densities, not the other way around. What will be the effect of the digital revolution?

What is the solution to our demographic dilemma? Can we do it with technology or must we open the gates and drown ourselves with aliens, ignorant, uneducated, economic refugees who are ill-equipped to function in this New Century world of the digital revolution?

I am hardly one to judge, I was born before rotary phones when we used party lines. Equally, the population of the United States has more than doubled in my lifetime. So far, technology has obviously not mitigated the perceived need to expand demographically. Will it? Clearly, I am not the one you should ask.

I don't understand holograms, I can barely define an algorithm, I don't trust artificial intelligence, I welcome medical advances but it is too late for me, however, I expect my grandchildren to exceed a century long lifespan, nuclear fusion and hyper conductivity are promising but apparently they are just over the horizon. So what's next?

Will technology displace more jobs than it ultimately creates, analogous to the squalid slums of London created by the early industrial revolution? As ignorant as I am of the 0 and 1 math of the digital revolution, I know in my bones that mindlessly expanding population density is the pathway to dystopia. We cannot have liberty and megalopolis, ultimately we will have one or the other. We cannot even keep our Constitution, much less our Bill of Rights, when we need big government to defend us from encroaching neighbors.

This is not a new dilemma for those who love liberty, the dispute goes back at least to Jefferson versus Hamilton. The farmer versus the bank, the agrarian versus the Mercantile. The safety valve of the frontier is closed. We can no longer pull stakes like Daniel Boone and move away from neighbors to build our cabin and live as we please. Our neighbors use of water, of air, of sewage, of traffic jammed highways, of available parking places, of national parks, of social welfare distribution in general, and a million other encroachments compel us to resort to government to defend ourselves from our neighbor. We are being pursued no less than was Daniel Boone.

When I was young and President Eisenhower created the interstate highway system, we could simulate Daniel Boone and pile the family into a car that the postwar economy provided and, like a cowboy of old, seek our freedom on the open road. Today that is less and less practicable. That is, it is less possible for those of us in the middle class but it remains a very real option for the wealthy. They fire up their corporate or personal plane, usually subsidized by tax savings, and jet off to Jackson Hole or Davos or someplace warm in the winter. They live behind gates and travel not through dense populations but over them.

Their interests in solving economic problems by increasing population density could not be more antagonistic to my own. My loss is their profit.

Surely, a conservative forum whose very reason for existence is the preservation of liberty cannot consciously succumb to the siren of government stuffed economic survival at the cost of individual freedom.

12 posted on 01/25/2023 2:04:59 AM PST by nathanbedford (Attack, repeat, attack! - Bull Halsey)
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To: PGR88

You’re creaming.

13 posted on 01/25/2023 2:37:27 AM PST by ifinnegan (Democrats kill babies and harvest their organs to sell)
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To: Cronos

Prosperity creates less babies.

14 posted on 01/25/2023 3:12:45 AM PST by Theoria
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To: nathanbedford
"When I was young and President Eisenhower created the interstate highway system, we could simulate Daniel Boone and pile the family into a car that the postwar economy provided and, like a cowboy of old, seek our freedom on the open road."

When you were young, our 'ruling class' was already corrupt and planning the corruption of the middle class. They desired amoral barbarians for their revolution.

Today, the greater part of our people are indeed morally corrupt, meaning their most disordered and evil passions, unfettered by anything higher than 'self,' are free to explode in violence, pedophilia, lawlessness, systemic lying, screaming demands for the latest, destructive actions (ie, tearing down monuments), and so on across the entirety of our land. Look at the highest corridors of political power to America's mean streets as examples.

Additionally, the revolution took God and the hope of heaven away and replaced Him with nihilism--meaninglessness. Thus, where America had been the land of the free and brave because not mired down in fear of death, today our land is haunted by fear of the spirit of death. A people controlled by fear of death are a people unable to be either free or brave.

So a people who fear death and are addicted to sin (vices) are an inwardly undisciplined and cowardly people unable to risk their lives for others or their nation. As well as being unwilling to work, marry, raise children, or be responsible, productive citizens.

Another crucial aspect to the decline of our population and civilization resides in the 'cult of experts.' Yesterday's people were, for the most part, people of the mind, free to be creative and inventive. This freedom was the great engine of our prosperous civilization. Today, most people do not use their own minds (think for themselves) but rather rely upon a cult of experts to tell them what to think, what to eat, what is best for children, how they should live, and so on. Thus we are no longer creative, inventive people.

These are just a few of my thoughts on what is a very complex issue.

15 posted on 01/25/2023 3:17:58 AM PST by spirited irish ( )
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To: spirited irish
I think your jeremiad eloquently describes the legacy of The Frankfurt School.

These neo-Marxists have infested our educational system and metastasized into the whole of our culture creating the dystopia you describe. I share what I believe to be your implicit reaction that the solution must include a spiritual awakening of the kind that my ancestors experienced as pioneers in the 18th century.

On the secular side, as our neighbors spiritually, culturally and morally deteriorate and become more dangerous we seek relief from government. We want effective police protection but the children of The Frankfurt School have already succeeded in neutering many of our big city police forces. The next step is the demoralization and the corruption of those forces, partly through the corrupting influence of illicit drugs.

So as we resort to government to protect us from our neighbors, we are increasingly seeking refuge in an institution which is less and less able to provide refuge. That institution is likely to become more and more oppressive itself, witness the recent history of the FBI that is now being exposed.

Where we can invoke the government to provide legitimate police we are in effect saying, increase our taxes to pay for our protection even though the obligation of taxes is by definition as understood at the Boston tea party equivalent to the loss of liberty.

Just as a spiritual revolution is required on an individual basis, so a cultural revolution is required on an institutional basis if we are to swim out of the mess you have described.

16 posted on 01/25/2023 3:57:01 AM PST by nathanbedford (Attack, repeat, attack! - Bull Halsey)
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To: nathanbedford

IMO, the revolution in communications technology has for the first time since the industrial revolution shifted the economic advantages away from big cities and toward the countryside and small towns. Covid was just the trigger for it. Now office workers realize they don’t really “have to” live in expensive high density cities and endure long daily commutes to work in crowded cube farms. Instead they can just work from home. They don’t even need to live in the city anymore. Indeed, they can get less noise, less traffic, less pollution, less crime and more land for their money by moving at least to exurbs if not several states away from the office.

Why live like a peasant on your $125,000 salary in San Francisco when you can live like royalty on a beautiful green several acre plot of land in Kentucky for the same money? More and more people are making that calculation no matter how hard the big city politicians try to lean on big corporations to force everybody back into the office. The toothpaste is out of the tube. Its not going back - at least not in the long term. After 2-3 years of work from home during Covid, bosses can no longer claim they can’t run their companies with remote workforces.

As to whether automation can replace labor, I would guess the answer is “some”. I don’t think it can on a massive scale - at least not in the intermediate term. So much as I think the mass immigration must be slowed down until America can “digest” its latest “meal” like its done several times in the past, I think ultimately taking in the latest wave of immigrants could be useful to offset the low birth rate. Its going to take time to Americanize the new immigrants, get them to speak English and acquire job skills though. Still, I think America will be better off than Germany, Japan or China long term because its demographics are a lot better. A combination of technology and better demographics is the answer IMO rather than relying exclusively on automation.

17 posted on 01/25/2023 4:02:05 AM PST by FLT-bird
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To: nathanbedford
I think your jeremiad eloquently describes the legacy of The Frankfurt School.

Indeed it does. But the Frankfurt School was in fact one of many Western civilization destroying workers of evil. There are others predating the Frankfurt School, namely illumined Masonry, the occult philosophical and spiritual 'father' of revolutionary politics and Marxism in particular.

Be that as it may, the Frankfurt School is surely one of the most evil and successful. FYI, here is a piece written by me sixteen years ago. Upon rereading it I saw it needed some editing, :(.

"In 1923, the Frankfurt School-a Marxist think-tank-was founded in Weimar Germany. Among its founders were Georg Lukacs, Herbert Marcuse, and Theodor Adorno. The school was a multidisciplinary effort which included sociologists, sexologists, and psychologists."


18 posted on 01/25/2023 5:07:36 AM PST by spirited irish ( )
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To: DoughtyOne

Deep? Bottomless.

19 posted on 01/25/2023 5:21:51 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn...)
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To: central_va

They do if the median age is 50 and the birth rate is .8.

20 posted on 01/25/2023 5:25:32 AM PST by Poison Pill
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