Xi Warns China's Foes Will Break Against "Steel Great Wall"
Comment of the Day

July 01 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Xi Warns China's Foes Will Break Against "Steel Great Wall"

This article for Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

“Xi used the speech to show that the CCP has wide support from the public and enjoys high-level popularity among Chinese people, which in turn shows that he himself has the support and popularity,” said Deng Yuwen, a former editor at the party’s Study Times journal. “Xi has also used the speech to send a stern warning to the U.S. and the West, and that’s when the audience responded most enthusiastically.”

Eoin Treacy's view

100 years since the founding of the Communist Party is a momentous anniversary. It is a time for reflection and to think both about the lessons learned and the ambitions for the future. The primary importance of the century anniversary is the people who struggled to achieve victory at the dawn of the epoch are long dead. Those entrusted with responsibility today rest on the laurels of people they have little in common with because cultural memory of struggle is not the same thing as experiencing it in person.

https://www.amazon.com/Fourth-Turning-American-Prophecy-Rendezvous/dp/0767900464 That’s the primary message from William Strauss’ The Fourth Turning. There is a great deal of focus among institutional investors on the fact that the USA is going through its own hundred-year evolution with all the internal difficulties that entails. That’s the primary reason Ray Dalio is so vocal on the challenges that needs to be addressed.

There is very little discussion, by comparison, at the fact that China is also going through a massive demographic shift which will come with its own challenges. The country has successfully industrialised and is increasingly competing in high value enterprises like technology and services. China has also invested heavily in its military and has the industrial capacity to outstrip any other nation in production of weapons should the need arise.

The aging of the population and resulting high dependency ratio and the refusal of young people to have children represent secular challenges. That creates pressure to automate procedures. That increase in productivity has to be achieved while keeping a lid on individual freedoms and creativity. In a society wound as tightly as China that’s a very big challenge.

The primary lesson Communists learned from Singapore’s success is it is possible to maintain single party rule if you deliver economic growth and improving standards of living. If that challenge becomes too great, the fallback for every regime is to boost nationalism and find an enemy to blame everything on. That suggests any real action to push the Taiwan question to a swift conclusion would tell us more about the difficulty of maintaining internal cohesion than any other factor.

Meanwhile, Ordos was often highlighted as a ghost city about a decade ago but today is increasingly being highlighted as a destination for people who are being incarcerated out of the eye of watchful satellites over Xinjiang. 

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