China is our largest trading partner. Most of our stuff is now made in China. You can go there on vacation. There are lots of Chinese visiting and studying in the USA. But China is not like the United States. The people there are not free. While the communist states of Eastern Europe and Russia could not bring themselves to shoot their own people when they demanded more freedoms almost 30 years ago, the Chinese had no problem doing so (as in Tiananmen Square).
Regardless of all the outward appearances, we have to recognize that China is run by the Chinese Communist Party. Not everyone is a member. In fact, only about 1% of Chinese are in the party, and the only real way to get in is to be the child of a member. But the concentration of power is even worse.
Right now, Xi Jinping is in the final stages of consolidating almost absolute power. The currently ongoing communist party congress is in the processes of formally giving him complete control. He will run the government, the communist party, and control the Chinese military. There are no “checks and balances” on his power, and there are no prospects of any.
The Chinese have a long term plan. They started this under Deng Xiaoping back in the 1980’s. He replaced the failed communist economic system with one that appears capitalist. He recognized that China could not compete with the West if it continued as a backward economy. This goal has certainly been achieved, as China is now a powerhouse of manufacturing. We have seen the Chinese rapidly expand and upgrade their military capability. And now we are watching them as they begin to project their military power outward. Their man-made island fortresses in the “South China Sea” (which is actually between Vietnam, the Philippines and Borneo – look it up on a map), are nowhere near Chinese territory. In another 30-40 years they intend to be the dominant world superpower.
The problem for the Chinese is that their economy is more fragile than ours. While they may look like they are capitalist and engaging in free market economics, they are not. They are in a very precarious position due to much higher levels of debt than in the west. The majority of their economy is fueled by WMPs (Wealth Management Products) that promise returns of 10 to 20% per year. Unfortunately, most of these WMPs are Ponzi Schemes that rely on incoming money to pay off earlier investors. Most scenarios of economic disaster start with the implosion of these instruments.
When things go bad, the Chinese communist Party is not going to take responsibility. Instead, for starters, they will blame others. During the 2008 crisis, when exports plunged, they didn’t say that Americans had stopped buying things; instead they said that Americans were not paying the Chinese for what they had bought. So during the next crisis, they will blame us for their own mess. And if it gets bad enough economically, they are going to use the ultimate tool to distract their population from finding out what really happened and holding them accountable. This tool is War. It provides the rulers with the ability to stamp out any kind of dissent, and to focus public hatred due to crumbling finances on foreigners.
What to Do
Recognize that while we focus mainly on our wallets and our economic well-being, there are other even more ominous threats. The worse thing is not that you lose your possessions. It is that you and your family can lose their lives.
The Chinese Communists will do anything to retain power. This includes going to war. This is even more likely with a leader who has total control. Here’s a short list of rulers with total power: Stalin, Hitler, Mao, the Kims of North Korea. Benevolent dictators are few and far between.
This should be an incentive to prepare. An economic downturn would be a major disruption to our lives. A war would be orders of magnitude worse. So prepare for things not being available the instant you need them. Things like food and water. A month’s supply of food and a way to filter water is a good place to start.