China is not the next hegemon

Reading Time: 2 minutes

china_great wallTo this day, most Westerners see Asia through the cloudy prism that is China. The behemoth industrial mainland machine now attracts global interest by default through sheer virtue of its size and prowess, whether it is admirable awe or all-out fear.

By Justin Calderon

This perception de jour is misguided. China – for all its superlative stature – faces numerous stumbling blocks in achieving its touted hegemony potential. The crush of human productivity that stoked meteoritic growth now aging, lack of access to global knowledge for SMEs and derailing environmental degradation are among the greatest catalysts for China’s certain demise.

Arguably the most debilitating, Chinese people, the energy behind the country’s headline-grabbing growth, are rapidly graying, and will crush the disposable incomes of younger generations over the coming decades. China’s one-child policy has created a lopsided society, where baby boomer generations burden families with single children in what is called the 4-2-1 phenomenon: when a child reaches working age and is faced with the reality of caring for two parents and four grandparents.

Demographic studies show that by 2050 more than a quarter of the population will be over 65 years old, whereas today it is just 8 per cent. In traditional Chinese society, where the onus is placed on the children to take care of elders, the future of the country will be hampered by the shortage of hands to care for their family.

Beyond this self-inflicted societal curse, SMEs – long considered the central matrix of job creation – will be stymied due to lack of access to global information, thanks to China’s infamous “Great Firewall.”

The contrarian could say that China is now home to some of the largest sustainable urban development projects in the world, notably the Tianjin Eco-city, spearheaded by both the Singaporean and Chinese governments. In order for a sustainable growth model to one-day dawn upon modern China, inclusive growth through smaller companies will have to materalise. Freeing up the gummed up arteries of the World Wide Web within the borders of mainland China is necessary, which is way some foreign companies active in the showpiece cultural and financial centre of Shanghai have been untroubled when installing VPNs for their office.

In what has now been popularly coined the “airpocalyse,” China has of recent been beleaguered by sickening patches of smog, namely in the capital, Beijing. One major cause for this onset of carbon has been unbridled development, leading to a voracious demand for electricity. In yet another typical superlative statistic, in 2011, China’s coal use accounted for 47 per cent of global consumption, almost as much as the rest of the world combined.

Images of Beijingers scurrying through sooty fog does not paint a pleasant picture for foreign visitors, and will keep away tourists who have medical problems for sure.

Before China can realise it purported expectations, it must successfully swim out of the murky river it created.  This will take a lot more than strong arms.

 

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Reading Time: 2 minutes

To this day, most Westerners see Asia through the cloudy prism that is China. The behemoth industrial mainland machine now attracts global interest by default through sheer virtue of its size and prowess, whether it is admirable awe or all-out fear.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

china_great wallTo this day, most Westerners see Asia through the cloudy prism that is China. The behemoth industrial mainland machine now attracts global interest by default through sheer virtue of its size and prowess, whether it is admirable awe or all-out fear.

By Justin Calderon

This perception de jour is misguided. China – for all its superlative stature – faces numerous stumbling blocks in achieving its touted hegemony potential. The crush of human productivity that stoked meteoritic growth now aging, lack of access to global knowledge for SMEs and derailing environmental degradation are among the greatest catalysts for China’s certain demise.

Arguably the most debilitating, Chinese people, the energy behind the country’s headline-grabbing growth, are rapidly graying, and will crush the disposable incomes of younger generations over the coming decades. China’s one-child policy has created a lopsided society, where baby boomer generations burden families with single children in what is called the 4-2-1 phenomenon: when a child reaches working age and is faced with the reality of caring for two parents and four grandparents.

Demographic studies show that by 2050 more than a quarter of the population will be over 65 years old, whereas today it is just 8 per cent. In traditional Chinese society, where the onus is placed on the children to take care of elders, the future of the country will be hampered by the shortage of hands to care for their family.

Beyond this self-inflicted societal curse, SMEs – long considered the central matrix of job creation – will be stymied due to lack of access to global information, thanks to China’s infamous “Great Firewall.”

The contrarian could say that China is now home to some of the largest sustainable urban development projects in the world, notably the Tianjin Eco-city, spearheaded by both the Singaporean and Chinese governments. In order for a sustainable growth model to one-day dawn upon modern China, inclusive growth through smaller companies will have to materalise. Freeing up the gummed up arteries of the World Wide Web within the borders of mainland China is necessary, which is way some foreign companies active in the showpiece cultural and financial centre of Shanghai have been untroubled when installing VPNs for their office.

In what has now been popularly coined the “airpocalyse,” China has of recent been beleaguered by sickening patches of smog, namely in the capital, Beijing. One major cause for this onset of carbon has been unbridled development, leading to a voracious demand for electricity. In yet another typical superlative statistic, in 2011, China’s coal use accounted for 47 per cent of global consumption, almost as much as the rest of the world combined.

Images of Beijingers scurrying through sooty fog does not paint a pleasant picture for foreign visitors, and will keep away tourists who have medical problems for sure.

Before China can realise it purported expectations, it must successfully swim out of the murky river it created.  This will take a lot more than strong arms.

 

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid