Sunday, November 11, 2012
THE FUTURE OF CHINA
It was more than 53 weeks ago that I wrote my first article for the Huffington Post entitled:
While the problem was not, specifically, China, there was a definite implication. In any case, a little more than two years ago I penned:
There was, alas, no response, so three weeks later, I posted:
This piece was addressed to their next president, Xi Jinping, and was published just when I visited the country, which caused me some stress. Finally, a year later, or almost two years ago:
Our media seems fearful about this economic power of China. Here is a second quote:
China will remain #3 with respect to Gross Domestic Product for a long time to come, but this is easy to predict, for the European Union is at $16.5 trillion, USA $15 trillion and China $5 trillion. Actually, the U.S. is not even in the top 5 in terms of GDP/capita. We are #9 and China is #94.
Click on it to read it, but here is a comparison of China and the USA:
China's environment is a mess. There are too many people, but the one child policy is quickly aging the country. Education paired with the world wide web make adherence to the party line difficult and propaganda nearly impossible. Thus, here are my recommendations to the leaders of China (and the U.S.):
1. WAR AND PEACE: Governments posture for various reasons. The USA is sending troops to Australia. This irritates the Chinese, providing hawks a chance to increase their military budget, which, of course, gives Republicans a reason for padding our defense budget. The military-industrial complex is too powerful to check, but a luxury we can no longer afford. STEP ONE: President Obama should at the next G8 summit in the UK establish his legacy, world peace forever, by proposing the ten percent solution:
I have said this before, in my original HuffPosting, "Well, Barack, We Have a Problem...," and "The Ten Percent Solution." To summarize, President Obama goes to the next G8 summit, and pronounces a Gorbachev-like bombshell: America will reduce defense spending by 10% this coming year, and will continue to slice 10% every year if you all do the same. In just a very few years, military spending will be minimal and the world will be at a higher level of peace forever.
There is sufficient time for Obama's people to work out the Chinese response with Jinping's advisors. China has no great desire to conquer the world through war. This relief on their budget should allow them to focus more on their real interests, the people, the economy and their environment.
2. POPULATION CONTROL: Allow any couple up to two children. It will come as a surprise that those living in cities (and for the first time, more are in urban than rural communities) won't care about having even one child. Their population will not skyrocket.
3. SETTLE ISLAND DISPUTES: China should call a peace summit of all Asian nations and work out those island disputes. China is involved with 14 separate issues. There is so much room for compromise that most competing countries would welcome the relief from having to contend with Chinese posturing. Japan is already suffering from the Senkaku/Diaoyu squabble, and there is talk of beefing up their defense budget. Six countries are involved in the Spratly Islands strife, and, it is reported that something on the order of $26 trillion in potential hydrocarbon deposits are at stake. Work out a solution! Then you won't need to build those second and third aircraft carriers and can spend your revenues more wisely. China's primary reason for building up their military is to scare their neighbors to gain dominance over these islands. This is not necessary.
4. DEMOCRACY: China has reached the limit of their economic prowess relative to the existing form of government. If they don't begin to democratize, the whole thing could fall apart. Xi Jinping will dominate the leadership of the country for the next decade. His role will be to integrate political reform aimed at reducing corruption and expanding both the market economy and constitutional democracy.
5. ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: From the Economist, this comparison shows that there is support in the country to pay for checking global warming. However, the Chinese will attempt to delay conforming to any international global climate change edicts, partly because they still don't listen well to their people, but more so, because the USA seems equally negligent. President Obama will make a feeble attempt at something like a carbon incentive (heaven's, don't call it a tax), but he will fail because not enough people will die the next hot summer and it's hard to appreciate sea level rise. At best, he will press forth with additional renewable energy programs. Five $100 billion hurricanes next year will change all this, but that won't happen. Clearly, China will expand their nuclear power effort and attempt to build cheaper wind energy conversion devices and solar photovoltaic systems for export. The environment around industrial areas are so contaminated that they will need to do something about them, but they will not take any leadership role in a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol.
Will this be the future of China? Hey, these are my suggestions, not a guaranteed prophecy. But wouldn't it be wonderful if they actually listened to me, at least on #s 1-4 above?