The Early Days of a Better Nation

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A view from the Middle Kingdom

Via a commentator at Lenin's Tomb, we find Hong Kong commentator and politician Lau Nai-keung casting a cold eye on the prospect of a US-led global recession in the next year or two. His economic analysis will be familiar (here's a similar one, via TPM, from James J. Kramer, NYT stock tipster) - deficits, debts, trade imbalance, you've heard it before - and he gets at least one big number wrong (the cost of the Iraq war so far has been $200 billion dollars, not $700 billion) but in the context that's a nitpick. What I find interesting is his staunchly Sinocentric take on it all:
The US is now clearly in huge trouble, economically, socially, politically, and internationally. The Bush Administration bungled big in cyclone Katrina's aftermath in New Orleans, and then a minor rerun from Rita in Houston, and this will trigger the general outburst of people's dissatisfaction with the government, leading to great internal turmoil lasting for many years.


To us, the good news is that when the country is in deep trouble, the US will not have the energy to pick on China. Even when it is necessary to start another war to divert people's attention, it would pick one much smaller in size and weaker in strength, like Iran. This will provide a much more amicable environment for China to make good use of its "period of strategic opportunity" till 2020 for the country to pass through a turbulent zone between per capita income of US$1,000-3,000.
Do it to Julia! But as US-China tensions rise, looking on complacently while Iran is picked on may not be an option even for China. Our only hope really is that great internal turmoil lasting for many years.


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