Tuesday, 15 September 2020

EXCELLENT COMMENT BY PAUL MYER (A READER AT FT)

 Re:  "...said Colonel Zhang Chunhui of the People’s Liberation Army ..."


That's significant because the current round of instability is led by, not just fed by, the PLA power bloc in the Beijing hierarchy. President Xi is increasingly their pawn, not their master. He got president for life; they got the agenda. It is almost inconceivable that the once powerful and influential economics and trade wing of the CCP would have precipitated Hong Kong (financial window on world financial markets) or the other visible conflicts degrading China's international reputation. This is all PLA all the time. Only generals are this systematically stupid and mindlessly bellicose. 

If China's most important trade route is across the Indian Ocean to the Middle East and Europe, then precipitating conflicts with India is Seriously Stupid 101. And strategically aligning with Pakistan is Strategically Stupid 202. (Like out of the George W. Bush administration stupid. Who do these guys consult with? Condoleezza Rice? Dick Cheney?) Fooling with Pakistan is like putting a scorpion in your pocket. 

Longer term, China's population is going to decline rapidly, a regimented economy is going to rapidly lose its dynamism, economies of scale will not longer carry their big punch. Lassitude will be a polite word for the Chinese economy mid-decade. For China's neighbors and the rest of the global community, an effective containment strategy will be a long-term winner. The opportunity to do a replay of Europe in the late 1940s and early 1950s is looking better by the week. Queue a half dozen American statesmen and the game changes. Once the Putin puppet is escorted out of the Oval Office by the rule of law, the opportunity for a return to effective US foreign policy will be possible. 

If Trump is reelected, then Beijing owes Moscow big time. Global warming won't be our biggest problem. 

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