China’s current economic situation reminds me of the remark, “Future events will repeat those of the financial crises of 2007 and 2008 or of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. All the evidence shows that this time the leading role on stage will be China,” which concludes my book titled The Big Turning Point, published in 2011.Sponsored Ads
At that time, the speculation that China would likely be the epicenter of the next global economic crisis was regarded as pessimistic by the overwhelming majority of people, but it’s unfolding before our eyes.
Ominous signs usually emerge from the banking system, just like in the fall of 2008, when the Western financial system was on the brink of collapse. When banks don’t trust each other anymore, they charge higher rates for inter-bank lending, fearing that they might not get their money back. Since the Chinese banking system is fraught with bad loans, there are ample reasons to be skeptical.
So far government intervention has kept things under control; until now.
As U.S. Navy Capt. James Fanell observed in the Times article, “Chinese maritime surveillance cutters have no other mission but to harass other nations into submitting to China’s expansive claims.” They have cut cables towing Vietnamese sonar arrays, arrested and intimidated Southeast Asian fishermen, harassed U.S. naval vessels and, in one case, erected a barrier to establish China’s exclusive control. These non-naval Chinese vessels are not equipped with military weapons, but demonstrate prowess with water cannons and grappling hooks—sparking frustration and a sense of helplessness among China’s neighboring countries.
China may have shot itself in the foot strategically, but not at the tactical level. Southeast Asian countries lack the capability to match the Chinese on or over the water with military or coast guard assets, a gap in capabilities growing monthly. Bluntly put, Chinese maritime enforcement agencies can muscle other Southeast Asians aside at will—with Vietnamese military outposts being the principle possible exception.
For years, economists have known that China is sitting on a dangerous debt bomb. A well-known Hong Kong economist, Larry Lang, has recently taken it one step further, claiming that the fuse has now been lit, and it’s only a matter of time before everything goes “bang.”
At a March 16 economic summit in China, Lang said that a banking crisis has already begun, and that it will lead to a full-blown economic crisis before too long.
Lang predicted that the shadow banking system will soon accumulate too much debt and become “another horrific financial crisis for China.” The authorities have admitted as much, with Xiao Gang, head of the Bank of China, in October 2012 remarking that the shadow banking system poses “tremendous risks to China’s banking and financial systems.”
China’s modernization has polluted many rivers, but the pollution of the groundwater in cities is most serious, with about 64 percent heavily polluted, 33 percent mildly polluted, and only 3 percent considered clean, according to a report by China Youth Daily on Feb. 22.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe re-affirmed sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands in Washington, D.C., Friday, declaring that any challenge to Japan’s ownership of the tiny island group will not be tolerated.
“No nation should make any miscalculation about the firmness of our resolve,” Abe said at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), after meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House earlier in the day.
If China can’t back down, and it can’t, and Japan won’t back down, doesn’t that imply seriously bad news for the US? This suggests that the US should start warming up its nuclear arsenal.
North Korea is now under martial law and leader Kim Jong Un has told frontline troops to prepare for war, amid reports that Pyongyang will carry out its third nuclear test, according to South Korean media on Thursday.
Kim gave the secret order to “complete preparations for a nuclear weapons test between Tuesday and yesterday,” reported the JoongAng Ilbo, a South Korean national daily. “The country will be under martial law starting from midnight Jan. 29 and all the frontline and central units should be ready for a war,” Kim reportedly said.
In the European Union (EU), 2013 will be the worst year since the beginning of the crisis in 2008. …
In Latin America, 2013 will also be a year of challenges. …
Given this situation in Iran, Israel will no doubt be preparing for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear installations. …
China’s seas have become the areas with the greatest potential for armed conflict in the Asia Pacific region. …
China is moving full speed ahead with the modernization of its navy. On Sept. 25, it launched its first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, with the intention of intimidating its neighbors. Beijing is increasingly intolerant of the U.S. military presence in Asia. A dangerous “strategic distrust” is building between the two giants, which will doubtless leave its mark on international politics in the 21st century.
Zhao Feihung is the chairman of the Safe Drinking Water Committee at the Beijing Health Care Association. Her husband works in the National Development and Reform Commission’s Public Nutrition and Development Center. Together, this Beijing couple has not drunken any of the city’s tap water in over 20 years, reported China’s Southern Weekly. Said the 58-year old Zhao, “Out of all the households in Beijing, ours probably knows about the drinking water here the best.”
Beijing Water Worsening
“Tests that we ran last week showed that the nitrate levels in our tap water have already reached 9 milligrams per liter,” Zhao said. This comes close to the limit of 10 milligrams per liter mandated by Beijing. “Even in 2011, it was only 4 milligrams per liter.” Excess nitrate levels indicate a higher level of contamination from garbage, organic pollution and fecal matter.
China is dangerously close to a catastrophic political, economic, and social meltdown, according to a Chinese business scholar, who cites China’s growing income gap as one serious crisis indicators.
Xie estimates that there were over 200,000 mass incidents in China in 2012. “While the world has closely watched for the ‘fiscal cliff’ in the U.S., people should realize that China is rushing over the edge of a real cliff of a political, economic, and social crises,” Xie said. “It means big trouble for the world.”