While His Brother Rots in a Chinese Political Prison
A defector from China has revealed some of the innermost secrets of the Chinese government and military, including details of its nuclear command and control system, according to American intelligence officials.
…“This is an intelligence windfall,” said one senior official. __ Chinese Secrets Revealed
Expect More Chinese Defectors as Xi Tightens the Noose of Dictatorship
China’s power is based upon its economy, which is currently faltering. As the economic power base weakens, Chairman Xi is using a trumped-up anti-corruption campaign to purge enemies and weak links from the military, the party, and from regional power positions. The very act of tightening the noose is likely to frighten possessors of privileged information to seek asylum from interested outside nations.
Meanwhile, the economic base — like much construction in China today — continues to crumble.
Foreign investors have been left to decipher what’s going on in China by parsing reports from a censored press, opaque information from state-owned enterprises, and what little information comes from officials who don’t really speak to analysts, journalists, or the general public. This isn’t exactly filling them with confidence. __ Propaganda vs. Reality
Five Hedge Fund Legends are Betting Against China
And as the props continue to collapse, more are likely to join them. Beijing has been able to fool the IMF and large global financial entities through sheer bluff, up until now. But now, the massive capital misallocation and corruption pervading the Middle Kingdom. A large number of toxic loans and failing state-owned enterprises are clouding China’s future.
China is the biggest source of worry. Some analysts estimate that China’s troubled credit could exceed $5 trillion, a staggering number that is equivalent to half the size of the country’s annual economic output.
China is full of Ponzi schemes like this, and worse.
[There are] hundreds of sparkling new cities sitting relatively empty throughout China, built by a government eager to urbanize the country but shunned by people unable to afford it or hesitant to leave the rural communities they know. __ Wired
Clearly China as it is currently being run, is unsustainable without drastic reforms — that are unlikely to be undertaken. In China — as in Russia — all current roads lead eventually to war, thanks to small cliques of powerful rulers who are clinging to shrinking economic power bases.
The curse of cyclical wealth is that in good times, there seems to be no compelling reason for reforms. Why tinker with something that appears to be working? And in bad times, it is more difficult to implement those same reforms. Why create even more uncertainty in a time of uncertainty?
__ New Geography on the Decline of the Emerging Nations