The same old mistake all over again

January 4th, 2012  

Topic: The same old mistake all over again

Although we pretend to learn history in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes, it is obvious that the whole world is making the same mistake in 2012 that it made in 1939.

China's industry is growing at the expense of industry in the rest of the world. !0% of government income is devoted to military expending. Accordingly, the chinese armed forces are growing at an unprecedented rate, as is military research, industry, etc,

Chinese industry is growing because the government organizes massive purchasing in order to both obtain most favorable prices and financing and to temporarily deprive the industry of competing nations from these resources. Yet, nobody complains, not even union leaders. The Chinese government also subsidizes or finances the production of tooling, acquisition of machinery, etc for exporting industries to a greater extent than any other country.

Chinese industry circumvents import restrictions in many countries through fake labeling or fake manufacturing facilities in other countries or through bribing. Yet nobody complains.

China manufactures almost all the shoes, umbrellas, socks, shirts, pants, etc, made in the world, including many of those sold by expensive designer brands and every year a greater percentage of tools, powertools, machinery, motorcycles, cars, trucks, tractors, ships, airplanes, etc, is made in China, yet nobody complains.

China exploits the raw resources of many African and Asian dictatorships in exchange for cheap weapons and equipment, thus contibuting to slaves mining cobalt in Congo or slaves working in mines in North Korea, etc,

China invaded Tibet long after WW II was over, yet nobody in the world lifted a finger and it continues to exploit its minerals and to treat its citizens as animals while Chinamen settle by the million in Tibet, yet nobody does anything, just like nobody did anything when Hitler violated the treaty of Versailles and annexed Austria and invaded Czechoslovakia.

Just like Hitler in 1939, China is becoming more formidable every day, so every day the rest of the world is less likely to antagonize it. Even the supposedly powerful US owes a great many billions to China, so it cannot afford to close its borders to the flood of slave manufactured goods that is ruining its economy. Just like it occured with Hitler, war will only start when China is ready, but this time the world won't have the years it had to produce impressive amounts of war materiel, hell it will probably have hardly any industry left by the time China strikes.
January 4th, 2012  
I agree with you up to the bit about Tibet then it just got hazy, I am incomplete agreement about the developed world just seemingly handing over its manufacturing to China on the grounds that it is cheaper, it shows an amazing lack of foresight by our politicians much like Rome we are getting free food and entertainment to placate us only in this case it is cheap crap from China instead of grain and animals from Africa.

However China has enormous problems of its own, outside the main centres you have rampant corruption, dissatisfaction and poverty and it's economy is not as strong as people seem to think it is with incredible levels of internal debt.

As much as I think the developed part of China may want to expand it will still have to keep a huge part of its armed forces at home to keep the peasants in line.
January 4th, 2012  
There was also corruption and dissatisfaction in 1939 in Germany and Czechoslovakia and then in Poland, France, Holland, Belgium, Norway, etc, and it took relatively few people to keep order, allowing millions to fight. China has plenty of people to do both things and its industrial capacity exceeds by much that of the US in 1944.
The true sleeping giant was finally awakened and fed by Nixon, while America slept.

China is building a coal powered power plant a week (which will cause millions of tons of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, thallium, etc, to rain on the Pacific, poisoning the environment and expects to build 50 nuclear power plants before 2020 while the rest of the world is shutting down its plants) and there is no major opposition to all this. Ironically, at the same time China is making a fortune exporting 95% of the solar cells it produces, which are used by more responsible nations throughout the world.
January 4th, 2012  
Der Alte
The reality is that the fundamentals of the American economy are stronger than China’s, and U.S. prospects are better. It may appear that China contributes the most to world GDP and leads global growth given its 10.7 percent growth last quarter, as well as its 8.7 percent average growth last year. However, that’s not an indicative measure of a strong economy.

Aside from the fact that China’s GDP numbers are illusory (largely because of how the country calculates its GDP), a significant portion of the growth China is experiencing is not creating wealth, it is merely taking it from other countries. In other words, Chinese growth is partly the result of detraction from, not addition to, world GDP, which means much of its success is dependent upon others. This is because of the way China’s economy is set up. China relies on its trade surplus with the rest of the world as the lifeblood of its economy. It exports vastly more than it imports. Seen in this light, China sucks GDP from other countries in addition to creating its own. Therefore, while it may be leading the world in GDP growth, to a notable extent these GDP gains are the result of China using the world to boost itself higher.

That does not mean, however, that China does not produce anything. To the contrary, over the last couple of decades, China has contributed to the world economy. While China’s production has historically met consumer demand to keep prices low around the globe, the world-wide recession is now causing China to oversupply due to weak global demand, which could lead to deflation. This is hardly an indication of a sound, robustly-growing economy. If China does not start developing more of its own domestic economy for its people, trouble looms.

Further, China is not the United States banker, as many people believe. President Obama’s stimulus package was bad policy, but the notion that China is now funding U.S. economy as a result is a fallacy. America could get by without China funding its debt. What’s largely unknown is that China officially holds less than 7 percent of U.S. treasuries, and that Chinese bond purchases declined in 2009, to under $100 billion, while U.S. deficit soared to an all-time high of $1.4 trillion. Moreover, China does not buy United States debt for America´s sake; it does so it because it depends on an economy as large and sound as United States for its own growth propelled through trade: The same set of rules that keep its currency undervalued means, by law, it can’t spend at home the huge pile of cash that it sits on. In that respect, China is more directly tied to the United States than they are to them. If the U.S. were to discontinue trade with China, it would hurt them more than United States.

Finally, China is not going to surpass the U.S. as the world economic leader any time soon. The United States control about a fourth of the wealth in the world – more than China, India, Japan and the rest of Asia combined. Other indicators are just as definitive. The average American earns close to fifteen times more than the average person in China. If the U.S. keeps tax rates low, shows spending discipline, and brings the deficit down to promote solid economic growth, there is strong reason to believe that China will never surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy.
January 4th, 2012  
Germany didn't have to surpass the combined economies of Britain (and the former members of the British empire), France and Poland in order to go to war with a serious chance of success.
Japan's economy was a cartoon of the American economy, yet with good planning it could have inflicted a lot of damage to an unsuspecting US.
The expanding Chinese economy, massive population and dictatorial government run by competent people combine to produce the most formidable threat the US has ever faced.
The overweight, spoiled American young men have the worst fighting potential in the history of this country.
January 5th, 2012  
China's coal powered power is too much.
January 5th, 2012  
Der Alte
China, China, China. We hear it all the time: China's rising. China's going to be No. 1. China's going to take over.

Let me splash a little cold water on the idea of China as a threat. Much of this fear is inspired by misunderstanding and paranoia, and it results in some actually rooting against improved lives for the worlds impoverished.

The structures and transportation systems; the electronics and other technology, and much of the music, art and fashion -- had either been created by foreigners or are an imitation of a foreign invention. As long as the ideas come from foreigners, the Chinese will always look to outside places for guidance, as now they're doing culturally as well. Justin Bieber is huge there, and many people celebrate Halloween and Christmas. It really is a pity that we fear those who adore our culture.

Even with an expanding economy, it lacks the ingredients to be a world leader because it doesn't speak to the country's ability to be a world leader. China's political and social system has helped fuel its amazing advance over the past 20 years, but it also perpetuates a lack of creative initiative, capping its potential

China's government can initiate sweeping policies efficiently, but the ease with which it can organize the country is due to a restricted initiative and independence in the kind of individuals who can follow directions so obediently

And it isn't just government. It's culture. Children in public schools, from kindergarten to high-schoolers, wear uniforms in China. In high school, they are taught six days a week, long days at that, and for eleven months out of the year. You may think this is great, but it also narrows opportunities for young adults to develop personal creativity. So much is structured for them.

This treatment extends into employment. Employees would stand at attention in two long rows while their boss spoke. The Chinese are first "Chinese" rather than individuals. But unless individuals escape this team mentality, which would disrupt the fabric of "One China," and, indeed, seems not to be their desire, how are they going to produce the original genius that seems to require individual courage, curiosity and initiative?

China is rising, it may one day have the world's biggest economy, but there's a difference between being the biggest and being a leader. Statements like "China's is going to take over" often reflect a vague anxiety. Think of China's government this way: A company doesn't ask its employees who the next CEO should be. It's decided for them. China is just a really big company.

As we question the benefit of China's rise, worrying about the environment, the country's influence and its economic might, we question whether this vast nation's rise from poverty might be a bad thing. It's awful that our fear has blocked our ability to cheer on the newfound prosperity of the recently poor. And is China's rise not benefiting, if not saving, the world economy? We don’t need a new bogeyman.
January 5th, 2012  
Der Alte
After two decades of massive military spending to modernize its armed forces, amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars, China increasingly has the ability to challenge the United States in its region. Certainly, China has made moves over the last few years that have stoked the China-is-a-dangerous-threat crowd in Washington. But the ability to project force tells us very little about China's willingness to use it.

When the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping began the process of reform and opening in 1979, he decided that bolstering the civilian economy would take precedence over military investments. But a dozen years later, the first Gulf War served as a wake-up call in Beijing, raising concerns about how quickly an inferior army could be demolished by better-equipped Western forces. In 1991, the Pentagon unleashed some of its most advanced weapons, including stealth technology and precision-guided munitions, against the Iraqi Army, the world's fourth largest at the time. U.S. and allied forces made short work of Iraq's Warsaw Pact military hardware, and the Chinese were duly shocked and awed.

It became immediately clear that Mao Zedong's doctrine of "human wave attacks", having more soldiers than your enemy has bullets, would not meet China's defense needs in the 21st century. From the early 1990s, China's defense planners began intensively studying doctrine and sought to acquire superior foreign technologies for their People's Liberation Army. They also made a major strategic shift by cutting the size of their force to emphasize new technologies that would enable them to catch up with the United States and other possible foes. But it's probably too soon for Americans to panic. Many experts who've looked closely at the matter agree that China today simply does not have the military capability to challenge the United States in the Pacific, though its modernization program has increased its ability to engage the United States close to Chinese shores. And the U.S. military is still, for all its troubles in Iraq and Afghanistan, the most capable fighting force on the planet.

"China's Armed Forces Are the Biggest in the World." Yes,but it depends on how you count. The PLA has the most people on its payroll -- 2.2 million active personnel. That's still far more than the active service members in the U.S. military. Then again, the United States also has more than 700,000 civilian Defense Department employees and significant uncounted numbers of contractors. But in China, uniformed PLA soldiers carry out many of the same duties that contractors perform for the U.S. military.

Arguably, the more significant figure for comparison is defense spending. Here the PLA lags far behind the Pentagon. In 2009, the U.S. military spent $738 billion on defense and homeland security. Estimates for China's annual military budget vary considerably, ranging from $69.5 billion to $150 billion, but it's clear that U.S. military spending is still several times higher than China's, the world's second highest.

Although it is still no match for the mighty U.S. military, the PLA has come a long way since Mao's ragtag army defeated the Nationalists in 1949. Over the last two decades in particular, China has improved the quality, technical capabilities, and effectiveness of its enlistees and officers, even as it has shrunk the total number of military personnel.

The PLA's hardware is improving, but what about its recruits? China's one-child policy is widely perceived as creating a generation of spoiled, overweight boys, dubbed "little emperors," who are doted on by four grandparents while their parents toil to support them in fields, factories, and offices. Although accounts are sometimes exaggerated (in practice, many families, particularly in rural areas, have managed to have more than one child), the dramatic demographic shifts brought about by this policy, started in 1979, certainly impact the PLA. By 2006, "only-child soldiers" made up more than half of the force, up from just 20 percent a decade earlier, giving China the largest-ever military with a majority of only-children.

In a nod to the fact that enlistees are often the sole support for aging parents and grandparents, the PLA has shortened service commitments. In 1998, China reduced the time conscripts must serve to two years, lessening the economic and social burdens on rural families dependent on an only son. With a significantly shortened time to train conscripts and participate in exercises, many units will likely maintain low levels of readiness. Only-child officers are also more likely to leave the PLA to enter the private sector, where they are better able to support their parents and families.

Of course, it's difficult to really assess whether an army made up of only-child soldiers will be an effective fighting force, as the PLA has not been tested in combat since the late 1970s. The PLA has found that such soldiers have better communication and computer skills than their peers with siblings. However, they haven't performed as well in other ways. Only-child recruits are not as tough; they don't like to go through the pain of intense training; they call in sick more frequently; and they struggle to perform some simple chores like doing their own laundry. If too much hand-holding is required for these recruits, the PLA could well find itself all suited up for modern warfare -- but without the soldiers ready to fight it.
January 5th, 2012  
Great info.
Thanks mate.
January 5th, 2012  
The capacity of a country to conquer relates little to its position as a world leader. Attila or Genghis were far from being world leaders when they began to expand. Rome was much less of a world leader than Carthage and had a much less powerful navy when it started copying the Carthaginian ships and soundly defeated Carthage in Sicily, starting its downfall.

Many of Hitler's soldiers were inexperienced teenagers, which defeated France boosted by amphetamines in record time. The same teenagers achieved the most impressive advance in history in Barbarossa.

Minorities have long been allowed more than 1 child by law in China, it is the Han who can only have one child. However, when you have over a hundred million people between 18 and 30, you need not worry about running out of troops.

2 years of conscription for a huge number of people seems infinitely better than no conscripton at all for far fewer people, most of them overweight and addicted to at least one drug.

The Chinese educational system is too demanding, the American system teaches almost nothing until college, to which an ever increasing number of Americans can not aspire, because of ridiculous costs.

The idea that the Chinese have little creativity and only copy things ignores the fact that many of the most important inventions came from China and that China is issuing more patents in many fields than the US. Aside from the fact that most of America's scientists, engineers and doctors are foreigners and if the depression intensifies in the US, while the Chinese economy grows, they will flock to China.

Germany, Germany, Germany, the British, French and especially the Americans were feed up of hearing about it (and about Japan) in 1938. After all, the Germans were civilized people, simply improving their economy and too smart to go to war after the destruction and massacre of WW I.

Greater military spending in 2009 does not necessarily imply a stronger military. Each soldier in Afghanistan or in Iraq was estimated to cost 1 million dollars a year. Contractors (why not call them mercenaries?) had a lower maintenance cost but much higher salaries, so they ended up costing the same of more. The main reason they were used is that they did not figure in the casualty lists, so attentively followed by the press and the public. In Iraq alone billions disappeared and have not been accounted for.
The American soldiers had much higher salaries and required tons of supplies each in WW II, but fought no better than the Japanese soldiers, who had to survive with a few pounds of supplies each and low wages.
Look at the French and British military budget for 38, 39 and 40 and the size of their armies, ari forces and navies, yet all that spending and people little reflective their fighting ability.
Just because an American aircraft carrier costs billions to make and maintain, doesn't mean that a Chinese carrier, built and maintained for a fraction of the cost cannot perform just as well.

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