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China’s Great Leap Forward: Western Frogs Croak Dismay
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Introduction: From their dismal swamps, US academic and financial journal editorialists, the mass media and contemporary ‘Asia experts’, Western progressive and conservative politicians croak in unison about China’s environmental and impending collapse.

They have variably proclaimed (1) China’s economy is in decline; (2) the debt is overwhelming; a Chinese real estate bubble is ready to burst; (3) the country is rife with corruption and poisoned with pollution; and (4) Chinese workers are staging paralyzing strikes and protests amid growing repression – the result of exploitation and sharp class inequality. The financial frogs croak about China as an imminent military threat to the security of the US and its Asian partners. Other frogs leap for that fly in the sky – arguing that the Chinese now threatens the entire universe!

The ‘China doomsters’ with ‘logs in their own eyes’ have systematically distorted reality, fabricated whimsical tales and paint vision, which, in truth, reflect their own societies.

As each false claim is refuted, the frogs alter their tunes: When predictions of imminent collapse fail to materialize, they add a year or even a decade to their crystal ball. When their warnings of negative national social, economic and structural trends instead move in a positive direction, their nimble fingers re-calibrate the scope and depth of the crisis, citing anecdotal ‘revelations’ from some village or town or taxi driver conversation.

As long-predicted failures fail to materialize, the experts re-hash the data by questioning the reliability of China’s official statistics.

Worst of all, Western ‘Asia’ experts and scholars try ‘role reversal’: While US bases and ships increasingly encircle China, the Chinese become the aggressors and the bellicose US imperialists whine about their victim-hood.

Cutting through the swamp of these fabrications, this essay aims to outline an alternative and more objective account of China’s current socio-economic and political realty.

China: Fiction and Fact

We repeatedly read about China’s ‘cheap wage’ economy and the brutal exploitation of its slaving workers by billionaire oligarchs and corrupt political officials. In fact, the average wage in China’s manufacturing sector has tripled during this decade. China’s labor force receives wages which exceed those of Latin America countries, with one dubious exception. Chinese manufacturing wages now approach those of the downwardly mobile countries in the EU. Meanwhile, the neo-liberal regimes, under EU and US pressure, have halved wages in Greece, and significantly reduced incomes in Brazil, Mexico and Portugal. In China, workers wages now surpass Argentina, Colombia and Thailand. While not high by US-EU standards, China’s 2015 wages stood at $3.60 per hour – improving the living standards of 1.4 billion workers. During the time that China tripled its workers ‘wages, the wages of Indian workers stagnate at $0.70 per hour and South African wages fell from $4.30 to $3.60 per hour.

This spectacular increase in Chinese worker’s wages are largely attributed to skyrocketing productivity, resulting from steady improvements in worker health, education and technical training, as well as sustained organized worker pressure and class struggle. President Xi Jinping’s successful campaign for remove and arrest of hundreds of thousands of corrupt and exploitative officials and factory bosses has boosted worker power. Chinese workers are closing the gap with the US minimum wage. At the current rate of growth, the gap, which had narrowed from one tenth to one half the US wage in ten years, will disappear in the near future.

China is no longer merely a low-wage, unskilled, labor intensive, assembly plant and export-oriented economy. Today twenty thousand technical schools graduate millions of skilled workers. High tech factories are incorporating robotics on a massive scale to replace unskilled workers. The service sector is increasing to meet the domestic consumer market. Faced with growing US political and military hostility, China has diversified its export market, turning from the US to Russia, the EU, Asia, Latin America and Africa.

Despite these impressive objective advances, the chorus of ‘crooked croakers’ continue to churn out annual predictions of China’s economic decline and decay. Their analyses are not altered by China’s 6.7% GNP growth in 2016; they jump on the 2017 forecast of ‘decline’ to 6.6% as proof of its looming collapse! Not be dissuaded by reality, the chorus of ‘Wall Street croakers’ wildly celebrate when the US announces a GNP increase from 1% to 1.5%!

While China has acknowledged its serious environmental problems, it is a leader in committing billions of dollars (2% of GNP) to reduce greenhouse gases – closing factories and mines. Their efforts far exceed those of the US and EU.

China, like the rest of Asia, as well as the US, needs to vastly increase investments in rebuilding its decaying or non-existent infrastructure. The Chinese government is alone among nations in keeping up with and even exceeding its growing transportation needs – spending $800 billion a year on high speed railroads, rail lines, sea- ports, airports subways and bridges.

While the US has rejected multi-national trade and investment treaties with eleven Pacific countries, China has promoted and financed global trade and investment treaties with more than fifty Asia-Pacific (minus Japan and the US), as well as African and European states.

China’s leadership under President Xi Jinping has launched an effective large-scale anti-corruption campaign leading to the arrest or ouster of over 200,000 business and public officials, including billionaires, and top politburo and Central Committee members. As a result of this national campaign, purchases of luxury items have significantly declined. The practice of using public funds for elaborate 12 course dinners and the ritual of gift giving and taking are on the wane.

Meanwhile, despite the political campaigns to ‘drain the swamp’ and successful populist referenda, nothing remotely resembling China’s anticorruption campaign have taken root in the US and the UK despite daily reports of swindles and fraud involving the hundred leading investment banks in the Anglo-American world. China’s anti- corruption campaign may have succeeded in reducing inequalities. It clearly has earned the overwhelming support of the Chinese workers and farmers.

Journalists and academics, who like to parrot the Anglo-American and NATO Generals, warn that China’s military program poses a direct threat to the security of the US, Asia and indeed the rest of world.


Historical amnesia infects these most deep diving frogs. Forgotten is how the post WW2 US invaded and destroyed Korea and Indo-China (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia) killing over nine million inhabitants, both civilian and defenders. The US invaded, colonized and neo-colonized the Philippines at the turn of the 20th century, killing up to one million inhabitants. It continues to build and expands its network of military bases encircling China, It recently moved powerful, nuclear armed THADD missiles to the North Korean border, capable of attacking Chinese and even Russian cities. The US is the worlds’ largest arms exporter, surpassing the collective production and sale of the next five leading merchants of death.

In contrast, China has not unilaterally attacked, invaded or occupied anyone in hundreds of years. It does not place nuclear missiles on the US coast or borders. In fact, it does not have a single overseas military base. Its own military bases, in the South China Sea, are established to protect its vital maritime routes from pirates and the increasingly provocative US naval armada. China’s military budget, scheduled to increase by 7% in 2017, is still less than one-fourth of the US budget.

For its part, the US promotes aggressive military alliances, points radar and satellite guided missiles at China, Iran and Russia, and threatens to obliterate North Korea. China’s military program has been and continues to be defensive. Its increase is based on its response to US provocation. China’s foreign imperial thrust is based on a global market strategy while Washington continues to pursue a militarist imperial strategy, designed to impose global domination by force.


The frogs of the Western intelligentsia have crocked loud and long. They strut and pose as the world’s leading fly catchers – but producing nothing credible in terms of objective analyses.

China has serious social, economic and structural problems, but they are systematically confronting them. The Chinese are committed to improving their society, economy and political system on their own terms. They seek to solve immensely challenging problems, while refusing to sacrifice their national sovereignty and the welfare of their people.

In confronting China as a world capitalist competitor, the US official policy is to surround China with military bases and threaten to disrupt its economy. As part of this strategy, Western media and so-called ‘experts’ magnify China’s problems and minimize their own.

Unlike China, the US is wallowing at less than 2% annual growth. Wages stagnate for decades; real wages and living standards decline. The costs of education and health care skyrocket, while the quality of these vital services decline dramatically. Costs are growing, un-employment is growing and worker suicide and mortality is growing. It is absolutely vital that the West acknowledge China’s impressive advances in order to learn, borrow and foster a similar pattern of positive growth and equity. Co-operation between China and the US is essential for promoting peace and justice in Asia.

Unfortunately, the previous US President Obama and the current President Trump have chosen the path of military confrontation and aggression. The two terms of Obama’s administration present a record of failing wars, financial crises, burgeoning prisons and declining domestic living standards. But for all their noise, these frogs, croaking in unison, will not change the real world.

(Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)
The China/America Series
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  1. China is ascendant. The Anglo/Zio Empire is in steep decline. The frogs bark. The caravan moves on.

    • Agree: Godfree Roberts
    • Replies: @attilathehen
  2. There is about as much Communism in the Peoples Communist Party of China as there is Democracy in the US Democratic Party. Therein lies the problem. Old words and slogans are used to obfuscate power plays by willful participants and to pretend the US is still vital in the world. Empire stops at the bottom line which was broached in about 1986 when we became a Debtor Nation. When China tires of lending us the money to build bases to harass them, it all ends. Our troops will have to find their own way home to put down all the incredible unrest here, then join the bread lines.

    • Replies: @Alfa158
  3. These frogs with their floating lily pad sinecures may be croaking lies. Unfortunately, the realities are causing many among us to actually croak as we go under.

    • Replies: @RobinG
  4. In contrast, China has not unilaterally attacked, invaded or occupied anyone in hundreds of years. It does not place nuclear missiles on the US coast or borders. In fact, it does not have a single overseas military base. Its own military bases, in the South China Sea, are established to protect its vital maritime routes from pirates and the increasingly provocative US naval armada. China’s military budget, scheduled to increase by 7% in 2017, is still less than one-fourth of the US budget.

    lol whats the sino-Vietnamese war?


  5. Dan Hayes says:

    This realistic essay on the Chinese economy is in refreshing contrast to the doomsday predictions of Gordon Chang which have almost invariably proved wrong!

  6. One solution to China’s “ghost cities” is to put a university there. China is also leading the way on LFTR reactors. So you combine the two with a major college or university that has a LFTR based industry like an advanced ceramics or solar cells or fuels manufacturing facility and you have recipe for growth.

    Modular LFTR reactors will allow China to replace coal burning with nuclear reactors.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  7. It recently moved powerful, nuclear armed THADD missiles to the North Korean border, capable of attacking Chinese and even Russian cities.

    isn’t this wrong? isn’t THAAD a missile defense system? reason china is pissed off about it is because it can scan 2000km into china.

  8. DB Cooper says:
    @Gross Terry

    The 1979 Sino-Vietnamese war occurred during the cold war. From the beginning China made it clear that the war will be short and it is meant to punish Vietnam. The war has several objectives. First it is to demonstrate the then Soviet Union’s impotency. Soviet Union and Vietnam signed a mutual defense agreement several months before the war. Soviet Union did nothing when the war happened. Second the war is meant to put pressure on Vietnam to withdrew from Cambodia. Third it is a reaction to Vietnam’s belligerence border aggression. Before the war Vietnam constantly lobbed grenade across the border into China. After the war peace and tranquility at the border restored.

    After China made its point, China swiftly withdrew its troops back to its border. China and Vietnam has no land border disputes but China and Vietnam has maritime boundary disputes. Vietnam is the most aggressive of all the parties in the South China Sea disputes by a wide margin.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
    , @Escher
  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    It is an offensive system in the sense that it will allow first strike capability without fear or with less fear of being hit back.

    • Replies: @Randal
  10. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Gross Terry

    Yeah, I guess that is a legit war. But to compare that to what America does is highly suspect.

    Lots of countries have skirmishes along their border, but only America has encircled the world in bases and is always at war.

    That is the gist of heat he was saying.

  11. Renoman says:

    I buy a lot of stuff from China, mostly and I have noticed that since the American election the delivery times on most items have doubled or worse. I live in Canada, how did he do that? I don’t see the bargains that I did previously as well. All very spooky.

  12. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Vietnam is the most aggressive of all the parties in the South China Sea disputes by a wide margin.”

    Curious about this. How do you draw that conclusion.

    Separately, while I agree with the tone of the article and general direction, a few comments:

    – China has an overseas military base under construction in Djibouti. Brigade strength force will be deployed there.
    – China’s national (not provincial or locally published GDP numbers) GDP growth figures are approximately correct. However, currently there is lots of state directed lending to keep the growth up. The credit bubble might not pop but down the line dealing with so many bad loans will prevent fresh loans and that will slow down growth.
    – While the economy is a miracle for blue collar workers, for non-workers in the most hard up parts of the country, social conditions are horrendous for a middle income country with lots of central revenue and administrative ability. In the western hills of Guangxi 10% of the kids are malnourished.
    – China hasn’t been expansionist in 250 years (not since Qing Empire into present day southwest Xinjaing in the 1760s) however there are still a few black marks: Sino-Vietnamese War, supporting nuclear proliferation in Pakistan, not doing enough to control North Korea (this is the stupidest blunder of all and leaves Beijing vulnerable to nuclear attack one day if the Kim family is about to go), and threatening war publicly against Philippines at one point during the South China Sea crisis of the past several years (all forms of pressure are permitted but its uncivilized to outright threaten war).

    • Replies: @DB Cooper
    , @Ram
    , @Joe Wong
  13. DB Cooper says:

    “Vietnam is the most aggressive of all the parties in the South China Sea disputes by a wide margin.”
    Curious about this. How do you draw that conclusion.

    I draw my conclusion on this article and here is the excerpt:

    “In 1996, Vietnam occupied 24 features in the Spratly Islands (source).  At that time, according to the same source, China occupied nine. By 2015, according to the United States government, Vietnam occupied 48 features, and China occupied eight.
    On May 13, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, David Shear, said this to the Senate Foreign relations Committee: “Vietnam has 48 outposts; the Philippines, 8; China, 8; Malaysia, 5, and Taiwan, 1.”
    In the past 20 years, according to the United States, China has not physically occupied additional features. By contrast, Vietnam has doubled its holdings, and much of that activity has occurred recently. The Vietnamese occupations appear to have increased from 30 to 48 in the last six years.

    Shear also pointed out that as of his speech, China did not have an airfield as other claimants did. He said:
    All of these same claimants have also engaged in construction activity of differing scope and degree. The types of outpost upgrades vary across claimants but broadly are comprised of land reclamation, building construction and extension, and defense emplacements. Between 2009 and 2014, Vietnam was the most active claimant in terms of both outpost upgrades and land reclamation, reclaiming approximately 60 acres. All territorial claimants, with the exception of China and Brunei, have also already built airstrips of varying sizes and functionality on disputed features in the Spratlys.”

    Here is the source.

  14. RobinG says:
    @Fran Macadam

    How droll. Your characteristic pessimism works better as dark humor. 😉

  15. Alfa158 says:
    @Robert Magill

    Seems like they are operating as a National Socialist system now. The means of production are owned by corporations but a powerful government keeps close control and directs business activities to the benefit of the nation. The owners are rewarded with wealth and the government advances their mutual interests for national progress.
    They also place a heavy emphasis on cultural and racial pride.
    Downside of course is that the types of civil liberties we enjoy are constricted and getting out of line gets you smacked real good, sometimes supposedly up to the point of bullet to the back of your head, and your family gets billed for the bullet.
    A tough system to compete against unless the powers-that-be lacking effective external checks and balance do something stupid like invade Russia or bomb Pearl Harbor.

  16. Well done.

    The USA is character disordered. Demonize, belittle, bellicosity, and outright war. All we need is liberty and enforcement of property rights and we’d be leaving the Chinese and everyone else in the dust.

    With the strangulation of our economy at home through the unconstitutional regulatory/administrative law colossus, instead of outgrowing our competitors we wish to shoot them down.

    The term “Contain China” aptly demonstrates our stupidity insofar as forward thinking is concerned. You don’t improve your lot by dedicating yourself to holding others down. It doesn’t work in athletics, education, in relationships, or in free enterprise.

    So it is odd to see nary a whit of protest to the idea when it should be ridiculed on the face of it.

    I do of course see the same worn-out playbook of demonize, demonize, demonize being used by the Washington establishment. We have to “do something” about China. Not do something to our appalling education performance, savings and capital formation, strangulatory laws, etc.

    I married into a Filipino family and have a house there. The Filipinos were fond of saying that the USA wanted to fight to the last Filipino over the South China Sea. They’ve been smart enough to work with the Chinese, who are investing billions of dollars there developing hydrocarbons and ports for transhipment like Singapore instead of launching a foolhardy war with China.

    When I encounter people screeching about Chinese aggression against the poor little Filipinos or fiction about threats to international shipping it really strikes me how out of their minds people can be. We want to see our family working on ships there, not dying in a foolhardy confrontation. The Chinese have a long history of trading and running businesses in the Philippines. It is only our invincible ignorance, arrogance, and narcissism that results in a failure to see why the Philippines has turned towards China.

    I go through Shanghai Pudong a lot and over the years it has been obvious how the people have become wealthier, how the infrastructure has stepped up to first world standards, and how smart/snappy the people are. We are really underestimating the Chinese and making a lot of self-serving rationalizations for their success.

    We need to fix our own failings instead of trying to cut others down. China is already larger in GDP and can easily be twice ours before 2030 with relative growth rates the way they are.

  17. Ram says:
    @Gross Terry

    It succeeded in ending the killing machine in Laos.

  18. @DB Cooper

    China showed own impotence and lack of serious military capabilities in that war. Vietnamese forces were not even participating while local militia was kicking Chinese military back side. They obviously had to withdraw telling they gave a lesson. It is typical Chinese way to cut losses and avoid total loss of face aka du lian.

    • Replies: @Joe Wong
  19. Ram says:

    Djibouti already “hosts” a US military base used against Yemen today.

  20. It looks like lots of people think that country with 1.4 billion population can prosper long term and keep rising living standards of her population in the future on limited planet. They so far have managed to achieve improvements but at a cost of long term sustainability. Their ecological troubles are of huge magnitude and so are debt and demographic issues. We are already at each other throats fighting for diminishing resources, so it is highly doubtful Chinese or Indian projects can last.

    • Replies: @interesting
  21. Kimppis says:

    To be fair, comparing nominal military budgets can be very misleading… and just dumb.

    Sure, they are an easy way to rank different different militaries, but when you compare Western vs. Emerging powers and their military budgets, or countries with their large-scale MICs (which to be fair, there are only a few… USA, Russia, China, France to some extent, India in the future, but certainly not today) vs. weapons exporters, the results are largely BS. Price levels are so different. Not to mention that the maintenance costs in the US military are absolutely massive.

    Currently Russia is a great example. The devaluation is basically irrelevant for the Russian military. It should be obvious that Saudi Arabian military doesn’t have a higher budget. The US certainly doesn’t have 10-15 times more resources at its disposal. Russia spends rubles, it doesn’t import weapons. So in reality the difference vs. the US something like 4x at most.

    China is the same. The yuan has devalued vs. the dollar, so in dollar terms their growth has stagnated, which doesn’t have anything to do with reality.

    So overall, in comparable terms, let’s say that the US spends $600 billion. In that case:
    Russia spends atleast 120-150 billion
    China spends atleast 250 billion, probably closer to 300 billion
    And whereas the US capabilities are spread all around the world, Russia and China are focused on their backyards.

    So in reality China’s “real” military spending is atleast something like 40% of the US level already, not less than 1/4,.

    • Replies: @denk
  22. The Sovs or the Chicoms would have sent Petras to the gulag ages ago. In the enlightened West, we merely consign him to places like UR, thus marginalising him and making it increasingly difficult to eke out a living. See Fred Reed’s piece on columnists and wonder why more of them don’t end up sucking on the business end of a firearm when they fail to toe the party line.

  23. Brabantian says: • Website

    Hard to get balance on this topic because it is human nature to favour false champions & heroes & rivals … fake ‘opposition’ … Don’t like USA-Nato? Why then, plenty of fanboys to offer you Russia, China, Iran etc … James Petras as above, André Vltchek, Andrei ‘The Saker’ Raevsky, Dick Cheney’s hoaxer friend ‘Edward Snowden’, Netanyahu’s hoaxer friend Julian Assange etc … all selling ‘opposition hero’ tickets

    The West has lots of stupid anti-China rubbish, sure … but let’s recall the Chinese official who said they learned how to do fake statistics & propaganda from Yank Americans … The China reality is as follows:

    China was the prime beneficiary of the global credit bubble 1990s-2000s, they will crash along with the rest of the world when all blows up, but crash worse because bad China debt is so huge … think USA 1929, it won’t stop China’s long-term rise, but they will have a horrible decade & maybe ChiComs will lose power in the upheaval

    China is a huge US-style bully, ask ASEAN people privately, or other Asians … but as seen with the USA, other countries feel they must kiss up to the bully … whilst e.g., Vietnam has been a bully to Cambodia on smaller scale

    China, Russia, Iran do some things right, principally working to see that middle classes rise & expand & most people are better off economically, for as long as they were able to do this, Turkey’s Erdogan too, it is a magic formula, like Hitler’s 1930s Germany economic success

    But all of these US ‘rivals’ have skeletons in the closet, hundreds of slow-torture hangings & killing women by stones annually in Iran, China’s thousands of executions & ethnic repression & sea-lane bullying, Russia’s past killing of perhaps 100,000 Muslims just to keep Chechnya-Dagestan oil & gas income

    But pundits need someone to love & admire & promote … the fake ‘hero’ the fake ‘opposition’ … in the West the mafia gangsterism we know best is the US-Nato kind, so we go gaga over fake ‘dissident’ or foreign ‘heroes’ served up to us … There are ‘good things’ in the West despite the bullying mass-killing horrors … ditto with China Russia etc,, & people ignore the bad when they hero-worship, either East or West

    The fake ‘hero opposition’ is the most successful of all oligarch memes … It’s plain as day, for example, that Dick Cheney’s little friend, anti-9-11-truth, nothing-really-new ‘Edward Snowden’ is a fraud along with Rothschild employee & ex-gay-p-rnographer Glenn Greenwald … Snowden maybe already having helped identify, silence, kill real dissidents duped into contacting Greenwald or his NY Times or UK Guardian pumpers … yet most still eagerly hold on to fake ‘opposition hero’ themes, China or Russia, or Assange or ‘Snowden’ –

  24. Randal says:

    Yes that’s true, but Astuteobservor is also correct that the paragraph as written is inaccurate and misleading. It should be amended, imo, as it’s a blot on an otherwise very good and timely piece. It’s an anti-missile system, not one that can attack cities, and it’s kinetic not nuclear armed.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  25. I love prof. Petraus. But wages itself do not reflect reality. (Growth of the wages maybe)
    Wages must be accompanied by price of bread and price of rent.
    Volume of production allows larger engineering and research and development sections.
    That is the most significant factor in the competition in the world.

    • Replies: @alan2102
  26. Joe Wong says:
    @Gross Terry

    After the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese claimed they were the 3rd strongest nation in the world based on the the amount of military hardware left behind by the US, and the Vietnamese started to invade China to reclaim their “entitled land, ” and conqure Laos and Cambodia to build their Great Indo-China Federation. The Sino-Vietnam war was the war Chinese repelled Vietnamese invadors just like war in 1962, China repelled Indian invadors in Tibet.

    • Replies: @Gross Terry
    , @K
  27. @Alfa158

    Downside of course is that the types of civil liberties we enjoy are constricted and getting out of line gets you smacked real good…

    Where do people get the romantic notion that we enjoy civil liberties?

    Anyone who reads of Lincoln’s, Wilson’s, FDR’s and GWB’s ( to name a few) wholesale dismissal of civil liberties could write a book on the subject.

    I’d like to know how we can possibly have much by way of said liberties in a centralized, bureaucratized, militarized, police state effectively owned and ruled by vicious oligarchs.

    Our loss of civil liberties began long ago.

    “But while I beheld with pleasure the dawn of liberty rising in Europe, I saw with regret the lustre of it fading in America…

    But a faction, acting in disguise, was rising in America; they had lost sight of first principles. They were beginning to contemplate government as a profitable monopoly, and the people as hereditary property.“

    And particularly to the Leaders of the Federal Faction.
    LETTER I, Nov 15,1802

    “The enlightened part of Europe have given us the greatest credit for inventing the instrument of security for the rights of the people and have been not a little surprised to see us so soon give it up.”

    Thomas Jefferson letter to Francis Hopkinson of March 13, 1789

    Men haven’t got the freedom today that they had when the Constitution was written. The men in the West had a great deal of freedoms more than the men in the East who copied the traditions of Europe.

    -Jeanette Rankin, interview ~1977

    Rankin, running as a Republican Progressive, was the first woman voted to congress

    • Replies: @Alfa158
  28. Alfa158 says:
    @jacques sheete

    Well, I suppose I might say “relative” civil liberties. To your point, yes, as soon as we started exercising our inherent, inalienable liberties, State and commercial actors started working to turn them from natural rights to licenses that may be granted by the State only as long as it served the purposes of the State.

  29. Tulip says:

    It is hard not to imagine that the Chinese system, in contrast to Western Liberal-Democracy, is the wave of the future. What is more is that China will invariably increase its geopolitical influence in the coming decades.

  30. Most comments on the Sino Vietnamese War reveals quite a lot of ignorance about it.

    When Deng Xiaopeng and Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore first met, Lee Kuan Yew began with thanking him for the China’s kinetic military R2P mission 😛


    Lee Kuan Yew had operational plans to deploy a Singapore military force to Thailand and their army was manned largely by conscripted teenagers mostly. He had to sell the public to send their sons to war because it be too late if they had to fight the Vietnamese when they were across in Malaysia, so fight now. The Vietnamese were already having skirmishes the Thais across the Mekong.

    Next, the PLA was pretty dismissive of Vietnam, told Deng, we would not need to use no stinking air power. Just the army would suffice. Why? Giap was “assisted” by a couple of Chinese generals through the Vietnam War. Walk in the park.

    Turned out it wasn’t a walk in the park but it was comfortable enough that the PLA got themselves into artillery range of Hanoi and deployed and use their arty units but not hitting Hanoi. Then while being not a walk in the park and thus egg in their face operation which Deng then used as leverage over the generals about PLA reform, it remained comfy enough that the PLA began a sure and steady scorch earth withdrawal.

    And those Vietnamese troop concentrations across the Mekong were gone and Lee Kuan Yew was one happy camper alright.

    The sight of those artillery units with range of Hanoi and the scorch earth withdrawal left quite an impression on Giap who till his death warned the rest of the Vietnamese elite never to go to war with China.

    And it didn’t end with the withdrawal. Deng may have been so taken by Lee Kuan Yew’s words that he scheduled regular border incursions to keep the Vietnamese on their toes thru the 80s. Or maybe he didn’t like the subsequent pogroms against the Hoa and who inspite of this are now the lords of commerce in Vietnam.

    But all these are old musty stuff.

    And the anti China propaganda never really worked and doesn’t really matter as FDI into China grew and grew with years passing. Heck even Netanyahu knows who is buttering his toast. Cut ties over the UNSC vote? Nah smoke and mirrors probably for local politics reasons.

    More useful to get info on the impact on OBOR in the Stans and elsewhere.

  31. Also, if you look at the map of Vietnam up close, bow if you think Israel suffers from a lack of strategic depth …

    So that probably explains why they were moving west and their infantry got to do some fishing on the Mekong river.

  32. Anonymous [AKA "Shoe Thrower"] says:
    @Astuteobservor II

    Note: it’s not “THADD”. It’s “THAAD” : Theater High Altitude Area Defense.

  33. @Joe Wong

    the chinaman cries out in pain as he invades your country

  34. @WorkingClass

    The conservative estimates of Chinese abortions since the mid-1970s is over 400 million. China is the fastest, aging country in the world. The Chinese were never that smart to begin with (contra propaganda from Jews and white degenerates who marry the Chinese). In the 1980s Japan was going to take over the world. Place your bets on Caucasian/European Christians, pagans.

  35. eah says:

    Get back to us when the rule of law in China is such that China is considered a safe haven for capital — when Chinese with money stop voting with their feet about that — when Chinese women stop ‘birth tourism’ to the US — when Chinese students desperate to gain entry to a good US university stop cheating on the SAT — also, perhaps talk to the numerous victims of Chinese ‘reverse merger’ etc stock scams, people who have no recourse because the Chinese government refuses to cooperate.

  36. Joe Wong says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    Two elite Vietnamese divisions that kicked the American out of South Vietnam were destroyed by the PLA in that short period of time. The Vietnamese central government had to vacate Hanoi before the PLA’s bombardment of Hanoi. Without Deng’s order PLA would divide Vietnam in two again. Finally the American was on China’s side on the war to punish the Vietnamese; the American was so grateful that Chinese took vengeance against the Vietnamese for them.

    Russian should know Russia is not USSR, and they should not be upset when USSR’s incompetence is mentioned and troll fake news with boiling blood neck.

    • Replies: @Sergey Krieger
  37. Anonymous [AKA "Thomas J"] says:

    Wei ni hao Petras-da,

    so just how much has Mr. Xi paid you for this piece?

    1) Actual salaries are irrelevant as you ought to know because in the end it boils down to PPP.
    2) Mr. Xi “remove” – ought to be “removal” btw is simply political battle for survival using “corruption” as an excuse. Should Mr. Xi be serious about fighting real corruption, 99% or more of entire politburo incl. himself ought to have been executed or in jail.
    3) How about PRC destruction of Philippine’s corrals (from another left wing publication –
    4) Artificial islands (weaponized) in South China sea?

    Look US is as much war criminal as PRC – it is just that your Goebbels-like (or should I say Lev Davidovic like) propaganda makes me want to throw up.

    I really enjoy UNZ for offering different – usually independent and critical – platform.

    Your article is beyond disgrace a la New York Times / WaPo / Pravda / / Spiegel / Xinhua and other “news” sources. Perhaps you might consider publishing there and stop polluting independent websites.


    PS I have visited PRC and Taiwan about 20 times, speak passable Mandarin and live with a Chinese born partner FYI.

    • Replies: @Stonehands
  38. Joe Wong says:

    It seems here is another insect in the US dismal swamps trolling zero-sum cold war mentality wet dream. You should know Chinese lend RMB to the locals to bust growth and Chinese can print RMB thru the thin air just like the Fed, in addition China has already set up state owned funds to offload banks’ debt load in exchange for their equity ownership, so the banks are back to healthy books and do the lending again just like the Fed, it is puzzling why such sophisticate safety mechanism will allow bad loans preventing fresh loans to be made.

    Not doing the American bidding is black mark? Wow, this is surely an example of American exceptionalism without bound.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  39. Joe Wong says:

    Would you accept that the USA is a ‘God-fearing’ morally defunct evil ‘puritan’ nation? If you don’t then you should not take what you are fed from cradle to grave the propaganda cooked up by those insects with a mindset belonging to the past, stalled in the old days of colonialism and constrained by the zero-sum cold war mentality from their dismal swamps.

  40. China has not engaged the rest of the world in military confrontation, colonialist adventurism and wars while establishing itself on the world stage. Perhaps they have learned something from Western History (or the failures of), or the teachings of Confucius. I suspect the latter, for they have not done very well when practicing the forceful and brutal ways of the West.

    They are on a roll, and it looks like they will get there, and probably stay there, for some time to come.

    I do not like the way Newsweek Columnist, F. Zakaria…

    (the neocon ? I don’t know exactly what to call him, but I am sure the Indians have a term for one of their own who joined the British Raj, put on their pretty uniforms, took their pay, and began to see himself as one of them, pure, high and mighty in his new white skin, topee and title, ever the S’arn’t Major, never the Brigadier!, with riding crop and bayonet, and boots with which to downtrod!)

    …writes, or the things he usually writes about, but his article “Does the Future Belong to China?” was right on the money to me. I’ll give credit to the support he seems to have had from other writers worldwide, which may be, perhaps, what makes it so good and, in my opinion, prophetic.

    He writes: “When historians look back at the last decades of the 20th century, they might well point to 1979 as a watershed. That year the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, digging its grave as a superpower. It was also the year that China began its economic reforms. They were launched at a most unlikely gathering, the Third Plenum of the 11th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, held in December 1978. Before the formal meetings, at a working-group session, the newly empowered party boss, Deng Xiaoping, gave a speech that turned out to be the most important one in modern Chinese history. He urged that the regime focus on development and modernization, and let facts-not ideology-guide its path. “It doesn’t matter if it is a black cat or a white cat,” Deng often said. “As long as it can catch mice, it’s a good cat.” Since then, China has done just that, pursued a modernization path that is ruthlessly pragmatic and non-ideological. The results have been astonishing. China has grown around 9 percent a year for more than 25 years, the fastest growth rate for a major economy in recorded history. In that same period it has moved 300 million people out of poverty and quadrupled the average Chinese person’s income. And all this has happened, so far, without catastrophic social upheavals. The Chinese leadership has to be given credit for this historic achievement. There are many who criticize China’s economic path. They argue that the numbers are fudged, that corruption is rampant, that its banks are teetering on the edge, that regional tensions will explode, that inequality is rising dangerously and that things are coming to a head. For a decade now they have been predicting, “This cannot last, China will crash, it cannot keep this up.” So far at least, none of these prognoses has come true. And while China has many problems, it also has something any Third World country would kill for-consistently high growth.”

    We are living in changing times, and the times are changing at an ever increasing exponential rate!

  41. Escher says:
    @DB Cooper

    How many RMB did that post net you?

  42. denk says:

    *Worst of all, Western ‘Asia’ experts and scholars try ‘role reversal’:

    While US bases and ships increasingly encircle China, the Chinese become the aggressors and the bellicose US imperialists whine about their victim-hood.*

    Like i say,
    Of all the slimy traits of the unitedsnake, this one takes the cake !

    Washington has just invaded Syria, its 500th victim since 1785.
    To Assad’s protest of illegal invasion, Centcom commander Votel sniffs,
    ‘We’r going after the ISIS , we dont need no stinking permission from nobody’

    The hubris befitting the world’s no 1 rogue state !

    Monsul in Iraq is being ‘turned to shards’ ala Fallujah.
    this time ‘no more stinking rule of engagement that tie one hand behind our back, this time we fight to win’ ,
    promised Trump the
    ‘anti establishment’ prez ! [1]
    Already civilian casualties have runned into the hundreds.

    In Yemen, the Washington sponsored genocidal war waged by Saudis rages on.
    Its another gigantic shooting fish in a barrel slaughter where the
    coalition of killing [usa/saudi/UAE] seal off the whole country then pummel the trapped populace with F16, Apache gunships and artillery.
    Its Fallujah x 1000. !

    Meanwhile in Oz where permier Li Ke Qiang is visiting,
    the ever so santimonous press/ pundits ponder,
    ‘ We already have our friends in Washington who share our values in human rights and rule of law ,
    why should we engage this ‘human rights abuser and SCS bully,?’

    What fucked up mind,
    What a fucked up world !

    Nam/Iraq were ‘restrained’ wars ?
    Only in the USA,
    Where the inmates are running the asylum !

  43. Uncle Dan says:

    Has there ever been a communist regime that Prof Petra has not adored?

    • Replies: @Joe Wong
  44. Mouren says:

    Nuclear armed THADD? This sentence alone betrays a lot of the authors ignorance. Ignoring the fact that the name of the weapons system is THAAD (Terminal High Altidude Area Defense), which could be a simple typo, even a short Google search would have shown the author that THAAD-missiles do not even carry explosives, much less nuclear bombs.

    THAAD missiles are basically bullets that rely on kinetic impact alone to destroy incoming ballistic missiles. Even if they somehow could be nuclear armed, their range is only 200 kms which is nowhere near enough to reach China from South Korea.
    China’s objection to the system being stationed in Korea is not that the missiles are an offensive threat, but that THAAD’s powerful radar could be used to see deep into Chinese territory.

  45. @Sergey Krieger

    It took until 22 comments for anyone to really take a look at reality. These article always only look at one side of the balance sheet. China has gone on a MASSIVE printing spree to achieve the “growth” they currently have, the US is no better but for some reason facts matter for the US.

    China also has a demographic (as was mentioned in another comment) time bomb waiting in the wings (just like all western nations) and yet it’s also never mentioned in these “China = great, USA = lame” hit pieces.

    A market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

    And finally, what is the author really saying? That socialism or quasi communism is a better economic system? It appears so……

    p.s. And apparently China economic statistics are honest and accurate……at least to this author.

  46. TG says:

    Well said.

    One is reminded that, contrary to popular propaganda, Malthus was right. It is an iron law of development that no nation has become prosperous until AFTER fertility rates moderated. (it is mostly the RATE of population increase, not absolute numbers).

    Under Mao the government deliberately created a massive population explosion – and when that was (predictably) a disaster did an about face. It was ugly – and would not have been needed at all except for the initial pro-natalist policies – but it has given China a chance to progress.

    India has seen economic growth higher than China’s – and all swallowed up by ever more people.

    Mexico, the United States, and South America all have aggressive policies aimed at maximizing population growth – with, again, predictable results. Wages for the many go down and profits for the few go up.

    Yes there is more to it than just demographics. But demographics are nevertheless powerful. And the Chinese government has apparently decided not to cancel out the effects of high wages by increasing the supply of people. At least for now.

    • Replies: @alan2102
  47. skrik says:

    but for some reason facts matter for the US

    Me: Haw. In the ‘universe of swindlers,’ the US has but one peer, otherwise known as ‘the tail that wags the dog.’

  48. Joe Wong says:

    In the USA. a war of opposing certitudes and denunciations is waged day to day between the long-ruling US corporate media and the White House. Both continuously proclaim ringing recriminations of the other’s ‘fake news’. Over months they both portray each other as malevolent liars.

    To the Americans anything does not fit their liking is fake news, malevolent liars, even including their elected president.

  49. Joe Wong says:
    @Uncle Dan

    Shouldn’t all the governments be “Government of the people, by the people, for the people” regardless their ideology? It seems you have been brainwashed from cradle to grave and are so deep in the ideology that you don’t know what a government is for.

    • Replies: @denk
  50. @Joe Wong

    I know it hurts, but China failed to achieve war objectives hence masquerading as lesson given and withdrawal. Chinese army lost lost about 10% of total army strength and had to withdraw. While USSR did not participate directly Soviet advisors were helping with military operational planning.

  51. @interesting

    I also forgot to mention that what we see in China is US manufacturing moved there. USA can blame only herself for creating her geopolitical rival. Avarice is a mortal sin. It was never enough for US propertied classes. As Marx told that for 100% returns capitalist are ready to break own neck and there is no crime capitalists would not commit for 300% annual returns. So, destroying own country’s future, I mean USA, is a small pickle.
    When I first time came to China in 1988, many steal wore Mao suits and the country was dirt poor. China with or without Deng did not have resources and know hows to rise without outside investments on massive scale.

  52. @Anonymous

    …and live with a Chinese born partner FYI.

    Material domination has supplanted spiritual development as the primary goal of western society, when everyone else despises that approach to life.

    I don’t think shacking up with your partner without marriage plans, or the glamorization of homosexuality and pornography will ever gain approval in traditionalist China.

  53. denk says:

    Since you’r such accounting genius may be
    they should appoint you to audit the Pentagon for that $70000000000 MIA fund,

    Oops, the Pentagon hasnt been audited for decades cuz murkkans so trust those four* generals minding their tax monies. !


  54. denk says:
    @Joe Wong

    murkkans like to bleat about their ‘freedom’ to choose their leaders.

    Well every four/eight years that vaunted system offers them a choice bet the likes of Bush senior/Bush junior/Clinton the sex fiend/Clinton the witch/Obomber/Donald *The swamp thing* Trump,
    the end result being a continuous streak of 45 war criminals in the WH.

    Well if thats something to be proud about,
    good luck to them !


  55. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Joe Wong

    “Chinese can print RMB thru the thin air just like the Fed”

    Explain how a high rate of inflation will not disrupt economic stability and therefore growth.

    “China has already set up state owned funds to offload banks’ debt load in exchange for their equity ownership”

    The equity ownership is in companies that are troubled is not worth much. What you are therefore talking about is not an exchange but write downs equivalent to hundreds of billions of dollars. To put it in the most elementary way, the depletion of resources to write down hundreds of billions of dollars of bad loans diverts finite resources that would otherwise be used for new lending.

    “Not doing the American bidding is black mark”

    Do you recognize there are various positions besides against us or with us? So not supporting China publicly using threats of war to settle disputes (e.g. a general appearing on state tv threatening war against the Philippines during the height of the diplomatic dispute in 2014), in your mind means being pro-American, anti-Chinese. Do you recognize there are several other positions than simply either being this or that?

  56. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Gross Terry

    Tibet ! ? Wuzz this guy smoking ?

  57. alan2102 says:

    “Under Mao the government deliberately created a massive population explosion – and when that was (predictably) a disaster did an about face.”

    What?! Under Mao, well BEFORE the 1-child policy of the late 1970s, fertility had dropped off to ~3. That would be from ~6 around the time of the revolution.

  58. alan2102 says:

    “wages itself do not reflect reality”

    Perhaps you are unaware that, globally, serious poverty has declined dramatically over the last 20 years — and it is ALL (yes, 100%) due to the lifting of hundreds of millions of Chinese poor people out of poverty. The wages of those formerly-poor people reflect a new, much-improved reality.

  59. Anonymous [AKA "Lue-Yee Tsang"] says: • Website

    The clearest way to articulate what’s going on with placing a ‘missile defence’ system next to North Korea (and thus close to China) is that it’s (1) tactically defensive, to be used against any incoming missiles, and (2) strategically aggressive, being used close to someone else’s borders to enable an aggressive strike. The same is true of ‘missile defence’ systems set up in Poland against Russia.

  60. K says:
    @Joe Wong

    ”China repelled Indian invadors in Tibet.”


    Dont rewrite history! Stick to discussing china-vietnam. You know nothing about the sino-indian war.

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