While the news media and politicians in the United States continue their focus on domestic issues such as bailouts for failing corporations, there are enormous changes occurring in communist China. For the most part, the news media and pundits have ignored events in China for over a decade, except during the Summer Olympic Games when most members of the mainstream media gushed over the Chinese.
Even when President Bill Clinton allowed dual-purpose technology transfers to the Chinese, (READ: China Gate) few realized the significance of those transfers, and little was reported in the U.S. media. Some of that U.S. technology, for example, helped the Chinese government in perfecting the accuracy of their Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs).
Now as Americans await the inauguration of President Barack Obama, many political leaders are still ignoring the fact that China is planning to increase its military spending by up to 15% in the new year. Of course, an official from China’s parliament quickly told U.S. and European Union military analysts that much of the increase would be used to cover fuel and salaries and that China was a “peace-loving nation.”
Jiang Enzhu, a member of parliament, told the British Broadcasting Company that the U.S. spent a greater proportion of its economy on defense and that China had “no intention of vigorously developing armaments.”
However, American intelligence sources have at various times accused China of understating its military budget and weapons programs.
It’s been widely accepted that China’s armed forces are the biggest in the world and has undergone double-digit increases in military spending since the early 1990s. The increases have caused fear by their immediate neighbors Japan and Taiwan. The U.S. has also expressed concerns over the spending on the 2.5 million strong military. Washington has several times accused China of understating its military budget.
It doesn’t do a whole hell of a lot of good to express concern over Chinese military buildup, when just about every product you see in American department stores is “Made in China”. And when our corporations and banks do business and finance with China, they’re propping up an enemy regime; with the government’s blessing.
The next time you see a news report detailing the latest in Chinese weapons technology, thank Bubba Clinton and firms like the taxpayer-funded party animals at American International Group (AIG).
Wall Street even had a contingent of Red Chinese on hand to ring the opening bell in celebration of what Henry Kissinger calls ‘A New World Order’:
Henry Kissinger made headlines on January 5 by proclaiming Barack Obama to be the architect of a “New World Order.” He told CNBC that “His task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period when, really, a new world order can be created. It’s a great opportunity, it isn’t just a crisis.” But even more important than this eye-opening statement was where Kissinger made it―the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Kissinger, a former Secretary of State, was alongside Stephen Orlins, president of the U.S. National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and two Chinese officials, as Orlins rang the market bell and declared that the 45 Chinese companies with a market capitalization of $802 billion that are listed on the NYSE were “emblematic of the economic integration of the two countries.”
More on the Wall Street Chinese connection:
There are some financial experts who predict that China’s banking infrastructure will eventually collapse due to antiquated practices and corruption, and lead to anarchy and a Mao-style crackdown:
As I speculated above and in my previous article, Chinese economic collapse will probably preface political revolution. This is in itself an interesting, though disturbing proposition. What would post-communist China look like? Firstly, I should mention that a democratic revolution seems fanciful at best. There is no ANC-type shadow opposition waiting in the wings. The Party is the State, and the Party brooks no opposition. Here are what I consider to be the two most likely outcomes:
1) The military will overthrow the Party. If the banking sector collapses, so too will large chunks of the state-owned industrial sector that are afloat solely due to loans from the state-owned banks. Millions upon millions will be out of work – millions more will lose their pensions and benefits. Many tens – perhaps hundreds – of millions of people will pour onto the street to vigorously and violently protest their loss of savings and/or employment. In its death throes, the Communist Party will order a brutal military crackdown. Trouble is, a military is made up by people with aspirations, families, hopes etc. People who would have lost their savings, too. People whose parents, family and friends are suddenly out of work and without benefits. Most of the officers and soldiers will have no end of sympathy for their countrymen under such circumstances, and it’s difficult to imagine the chain of command will survive under such conditions. The Communist top brass will lose control of the military, which will regroup under a new command. The old political order will be drawn and quartered, Mao will be evicted from his mausoleum and his portrait ripped down from the gate of the Forbidden City. There is no democratic tradition in China, however the country is steeped in a history of rule-by-decree. Expect this for many years to come. Perhaps the best outcome would be highly imperfect democratic elections in several years time.
2) The country breaks up along the lines of regional powerbrokers. Along with rule-by-decree, China also has a long history of warlordism and disunity. Due to the lack of any credible and widespread opposition movement in China, the possibility of a complete breakdown of central control is high if the Communists depart the scene and the military doesn’t fill the vacuum. Hong Kong would almost certainly go its own way. Those provinces with large populations of non-Han citizens like Tibet and Xinjiang may declare their independence – perhaps bloodily ejecting the old order. Inner Mongolia may reunite with Mongolia. There is scope for large-scale dismemberment of the modern Chinese state. That left over will be fractured and ruled perhaps by the old regional party bosses reincarnated as warlords or whoever is able to wrest power from them and maintain it.
Some mention Taiwan as a wildcard that could be used as a distraction by the Central government. I think this unlikely. If the economy collapses, a war with Taiwan is not likely to distract anyone from their sudden poverty. Militarily, it seems unrealistic, too. The military will be stretched to breaking point in an attempt to reign in the chaos on the Mainland, so a massive invasion or attack on Taiwan looks unfeasible.
Chinese megabanks aren’t even banks — at least not the way we understand them. Carved out of the old Communist banking system just over 10 years ago, the state-owned banks’ role has been to bankroll the government’s massive infrastructure projects and to keep otherwise bankrupt state-owned enterprises [SOEs] afloat. As arms of the Communist government, Chinese banks have had no incentive to learn the disciplines of basic banking. Conversely, loan applicants never had to cobble together a business plan to get a loan — or suffer the negative consequences of failure.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
Hell, if the bailout for government-inflicted bank failures in this country is any indication, China might get one too.