Chinese Alchemy Symbolic of National Transformation?
Chinese scientists achieved a feat of modern alchemy by transforming small quantities of copper into bacteria-sized grains of metal with catalytic properties similar to those of gold. This process may eventually produce enough “transformed copper” catalyst to enable more economical industrial processes in some areas of industry.
On a Larger Scale, China Needs an Economic Miracle
China is facing a bleak new year, as the bite of US tariffs begins to eat away at industrial profits that have already begun to deteriorate. At the same time, the critical China real estate market is showing signs of decay and pre-collapse.
China is not the economic superpower that most westerners assume. It is particularly unprepared for any trade conflict with importing powers such as North America or Europe.
China has been brazen in using access to its enormous domestic market as a means to bully other countries and firms. Its aggressive trade practices, from theft of intellectual property to its heavy use of industrial subsidies, undercut faith in a rules-based economic order. Meanwhile, it has become more assertive on the world stage, using a combination of hard and soft power to build an expanding sphere of influence.
… The pace of Chinese economic growth has fallen by more than half since 2007 and has become increasingly dependent on unsustainable growth in debt. The demographic picture, too, looks forbidding. China’s working-age population is declining and expected to fall by roughly 25 million people by 2030. And although lots of countries have suffered from anemic growth in productivity over the past decade, productivity in China appears to be declining and shows few signs of reviving.
Falling productivity, in particular, reflects serious structural weaknesses in the Chinese economy. Economies can boost growth for a while by pushing more workers into the labor force or investing in factories and equipment. But long-run growth is possible only by coming up with new, better ways to use capital and labor.
China is running out of room to borrow well-established technologies and techniques from countries that have already industrialized.
China has one important trick up its sleeve — the debt-slave imperialism of the One Belt One Road scheme. China has already seized a large port in Sri Lanka in a “development loan default” scheme. Now it has done the same in Kenya — and is lining up to do the same in several indebted nations across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
By seizing critical real estate from weak and impoverished third world nations around the world, China obtains forward-placed military bases almost “for free.” Unfortunately for China, the nation is in a race against time to stabilise its economic base and domestic tranquility before all sh-t hits the fan, and national foundations start cracking and crumbling.