The Threats to China’s Future

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Timothy Beardson discusses the challenges that stand in the way of China’s rise to global supremacy and the inadequate policy responses to those challenges. Stumbling Giant: The Threats to China’s Future focuses on China’s situation, including an aging labor force, extreme gender disparity, social instability, environmental devastation, the absence of an effective welfare safety net, and an inflexible governance structure.


Timothy Beardson

Comments [16]

China is insular by cultural and familial training, but it's government pushes its brightest progeny to be multi-lingual, travel and excel in practical terms.
China is irrational as a cultural bias (ghost day, feng shui, unclean-ness biases, natural magic all interspersed forcefully with modern science), but its government has promoted scientistic faith in demonstrable physics, chemistry and engineering.
China is chauvinist regarding race, language, literature, but envious to the level of mania of Western (and specifically US) behaviors and secular successes. It's government in turns chides American childishness in policy (rightly), and lauds its willingness to sacrifice for the polity (also rightly) without understanding American motives.
China is more or less 12 countries and five races masquerading as monolithic, but unable to truthfully discuss the compromises and repressions that have made its great leaps great.
China wants to reform for the collective good, but is privately terribly cynical about all personal agenda to the point that it winks at massive government chicanery as inevitable.
China is the most wonderful tapestry of cultural collision in the world, but a repressive place to work/live unless you have real money. Everyone in China wants to succeed materially while cherishing the most immaterial and whimsical balance with a mythical, animistic view of nature.
Compared to the USA, China is relatively safe and civilized. Compared to China, the USA is relatively dangerous and inequitable. But China is expanding physically, psychologically and educationally while America is contracting, fearful and increasingly ignorant. The idea that decrepit monolingual America with its moronic self-censorship and immoral governance could possibly evaluate multilingual, regulated, amoral China is very funny. Nearly every premise of Beardson's list and most of the questions asked sound like one schoolyard bully's mindless taunts spouted to ward off other bullies.

Sep. 24 2013 04:31 PM
Matt Helme

Socialism is better. Most of us knew it, right?

Sep. 24 2013 12:53 PM

Beardson: "U.S. hasn't won a war since 1945"

The military-industrial complex /always/ wins, doesn't it?

Sep. 24 2013 12:42 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The advantage of the US, is that so many people have garages here where they can tinker and maybe create the next "new thing." It's hard to tinker in a society where (a) most people live in tiny apartments, and (b) individual efforts are not as highly rewarded as in the US, where you can become a billionaire from a patent.

Sep. 24 2013 12:26 PM
Jose from Queens

This interview is embarrassing.

Leonard Lopate is pulling out every 2-bit factoid about China he's heard of in the last 20 years, without context or a real rapport with his guest. Polyandry? Madam Mao? Bo Xilai's wife? Really? What was that all about? He sounds downright creepy.

He clearly can't hold his own next to his guest.

Sep. 24 2013 12:23 PM
fuva from harlemworld

Yes, much US criticism of Chinese economics completely and conveniently ignores US mercantilist history.

Sep. 24 2013 12:21 PM
MG from Queens

More on gender disparity ... there are also countries in the area where there are an excess of single women and so Chinese men will be able to find wives there... It always amazes me that we never THINK that not everyone wants to engage in a hetero sexual relationship

Sep. 24 2013 12:20 PM
MG from Queens

on that gender disparity.. yes homosexuality DOES exist in China .. so factor that in there are also millions of Chinese men that do not WANT a wife

Sep. 24 2013 12:16 PM
fuva from harlemwrold

Think polyandry has a future there?

Sep. 24 2013 12:16 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

The US economy is still twice the size of the Chinese economy in dollar terms, which is not always an accurate property, but it will still take some time for China to catch up to the US overall.

Sep. 24 2013 12:15 PM
tom from astoria

Haven't American and other western corporations given China a huge gift in transferring manufacturing to their territory? Just look at our unemployment problems -- and then the hundreds of millions of Chinese workers moving into the middle class with our jobs.

Sep. 24 2013 12:13 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I'm not worried in the slightest about the future of China. It will be around as long as the planet continues to exist. I'm more concerned about the US and how long it will be around, and most concerned about Israel. But China is definitely here to stay. I hope the US lasts as long.

Sep. 24 2013 12:12 PM
Michael from Manhattan

Think of China more as Europe .. we tend to think of it as if it is Germany or Spain . What we call China is i reality a region much like Europe is ...

Sep. 24 2013 12:11 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

What could "threaten" China? China has been around for 5000 years. It's been through everything imaginable, so what could threaten it now, short of thermonuclear war or global warming and climate change that threatens the whole planet.

Sep. 24 2013 12:09 PM
fuva from harlemworld

I sense that China lacks soft/ cultural power. True? Important?

Sep. 24 2013 12:08 PM
Ed from Larchmont

How will the imbalance in China's aging population cause problems for them?

Sep. 24 2013 09:03 AM

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