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America’s fantasy that China will soon collapse like the Soviet Union

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America’s fantasy that China will soon collapse like the Soviet Union did is based on arrogance and ideology, not facts and reason
Tom Fowdy
Tom Fowdy
is a British writer and analyst of politics and international relations with a primary focus on East Asia.
4 Jan, 2021 14:40
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America’s fantasy that China will soon collapse like the Soviet Union did is based on arrogance and ideology, not facts and reason

FILE PHOTO. © Getty Images / Karin Slade
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Washington’s dream that Beijing is doomed to failure seems as strong as ever, despite events of the last year showing that American triumphalism is misplaced, misguided and potentially moribund.


2020 was a year to forget, but it was also immensely geopolitically significant. The outbreak of Covid-19 was a world-changing event which will profoundly alter the globe. Not least because the political shockwaves it created have brought relations between the United States and China to their lowest ebb in modern times.
In what many describe as a “new cold war,” the Trump administration has used its remaining time in office to escalate confrontation with Beijing and forcefully set a legacy for Joe Biden to follow. In setting out this scenario, some in the United States have framed the situation and its risks in very “short termist” thinking. It assumes China only has a short space of time to achieve its goals before, apparently, it becomes economically and socially depleted.
ALSO ON RT.COMThis US show reveals how shallow & ill-informed America’s understanding of China is. No wonder we're losing the economic battle
An article published in Foreign Policy, titled “China Is Both Weak and Dangerous” and covering the book The China Nightmare: The Grand Ambitions of a Decaying State, by American Enterprise Institute’s Dan Blumenthal, argues that China’s political system is weak and lacking in legitimacy. It then proceeds to argue that it is therefore, apparently, ideologically incapable of generating sustained growth or the innovation required to truly become a superpower and “displace” the US. As a result, the piece argues, Beijing only has a short period of time to “accomplish its goals,” thus making it dangerous.
Not surprisingly, I don’t buy into this argument. If anything, I would describe this kind of attitude, which I term “collapsism” as an ideological expression of overconfidence from some within the United States. It is a view which has become endemic since the end of the Cold War in 1991, which simply assumes China must be destined to fail at some point, while America marches on.
This of course is to be expected from the American Enterprise Institute, which, it goes without saying, is a ridiculously neoconservative and pro-war institution, but it nevertheless represents a broader and more misleading set of assumptions in American politics. The idea, perhaps more famously put by Gordon Chang’s “The coming collapse of China” ( 2001), is simply that the Chinese system is doomed to implode because it doesn’t tick the right ideological boxes. If anything, this view risks America being overconfident.
“Collapsism” better known as the “end of history thesis” is a strand of Cold War thinking which assumes that liberal capitalism is the only way to create a successful and stable country. It holds that all other ideologies are fundamentally flawed and cannot truly replicate the success of the West, even if they represent a geopolitical threat. It is an expression of American triumphalism following the collapse of the Soviet Union, based on the premise that in the end the West became more prosperous than the USSR and had outmatched it on innovation.
ALSO ON RT.COMDe-dollarization in overdrive: Russia & China boost settlements in national currencies to 25%
Liberalism, having evolved out of Christian thought, has embedded the idea that one’s own “divine destiny” is inevitable and, in the same way, believes western political thought is “the way, the truth, the life.” On top of this, it also holds that only liberalism allows creativity and critical thinking, and, thus, technological success.
You don’t have to read heavy books on international relations to find this view; attitudes towards China are riddled with it. Mike Pompeo once boasted, “The Communist Party knows it can’t match our innovation,” spreading the misleading trope that the only way China can obtain technology is by “stealing” it, and claiming all Chinese students in the US are “sent” to do that. Overall, this is an expression of overconfidence that clouds US foreign-policy making. The idea that if China can be contained quickly and harshly, it can be beaten as its political system is leaning on borrowed time.
Not surprisingly, this view is also endemic in the mainstream media and commentary. When Covid-19 broke out in February, newspapers rushed to frame the outbreak in ideological terms and assumed naively such a catastrophe could never happen in a transparent and progressive society like in the West. This had to be a failure of China’s system. This is obviously a trait of this ideologically driven discourse outlined in ‘The China Nightmare’ and the events of 2020 proved it wrong before it was even published, which shows how short-sighted the analysis is.
First of all, it talks about China’s growth slowing down and facing the “Middle Income Trap”– this is the idea that, like some countries in Latin America, nations reach a certain point then fail to grow further. However, where is the evidence for this happening? China is already passing the middle-income mark and is set to be designated a high income country by 2023.
ALSO ON RT.COMBeijing warns of retaliation over US delisting of Chinese firms, which runs ‘against market rules & logic’
It is also projected to become the world’s largest economy by 2028. The reason why many countries failed to surpass the middle-income mark was because of US led capitalism, not in spite of it. Mexico for example, cannot innovate because its economy is completely hegemonized by the US, who dominates its key industries and extracts Mexican talent for itself.
China does not face these problems or pitfalls. It has an increasingly educated workforce, universities which are increasingly competitive globally, a number of “unicorn” startups to rival the US and record levels of foreign direct investment in 2020. Does this really seem like a society “on the brink” with no potential to innovate? The author might want to consider that China has published more scientific papers since 2018 than any other country in the world, and files more intellectual property patents than anyone else too. Not bad for a nation that apparently “steals” everything, right?
Given this, the idea that China is weak and does not have time on its side is one based exclusively on ideology, not facts. Whilst the book highlights upcoming challenges, such as demographic decline, these are treated in a fatalist manner as if China has no way to absolve them, such as encouraging inbound immigration in the way Western nations have done. If anything, last year should have been a stark warning that China’s political system is not easily overcome or contained and, contrary to US hysteria, is not rampaging on a zero-sum path to world domination or to displace the US. This is a neoconservative fantasy which simultaneously believes Beijing is coming for Washington, yet cannot understand why China has not collapsed already.
ALSO ON RT.COMRelations between Russia & China at ‘historic high’ after ‘once-in-century epidemic,’ says Chinese foreign minister
As a result, the real danger in US-China ties is the belief that a path of confrontation on Washington’s behalf, as we have seen with Trump, can upend Beijing quickly and affirm US supremacy. Realism is needed, rather than ideological and triumphalist thinking. China’s strategy has involved hedging against American pressure by consolidating more economic agreements and options with others, rather than barging headfirst into a bloodthirsty conflict, that suggests it is a country that is biding its time.
It would be very happy to stabilize its ties with Washington. If anything, American complacency and the belief China can be stabilized, encapsulated by Pompeo’s legacy, is inherently dangerous. Beijing has been written off too quickly many times before, and history does not always repeat itself and run in straight lines, as the US has assumed since 1991.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
 

hualushui

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If the United States competes with China, she must correctly understand China instead of hysterically screaming "China is going to collapse." Know your enemy, otherwise you will make the wrong decision
 

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Carry on dreaming, USA.
:cheers:

China has Central Bank has clarified that their Digital Yuan is not meant to replace US Dollar.
US is acting paranoid and is panicking in recent days.
 

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Nope, China won't collapse like USSR, nor will US because USSR has so many different ethnic , culture merged into them, and their stronghold was very far away from their capital, USSR because of its Geographic's bound to collapse, but China and US can not .
 

Paul2

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If the United States competes with China, she must correctly understand China instead of hysterically screaming "China is going to collapse." Know your enemy, otherwise you will make the wrong decision
It's been 30 years, and people in the West still have a very poor understanding why USSR went belly up, and I am saying these people make what Western political elites are: intelligence people, think tankers, analysts, advisers etc.

It's all very, very simple: what destroyed USSR were not some "liberals," civil society, NGOs, or, spare the comedy, dissidents as West keeps imagining, but CPSU's own deep insiders who weren't even a bit amused with Western liberalism.

Up until the last days of USSR, any party official pass the complete nobody could've ordered to have Moscow cleared within hours, but nobody did.

It was very much a mean for the new impatient CPSU generation to finally push the last of CPSU's pre-war generation geriatric ward leaders out of power for good, or worse. They were afraid that Breznev, and co. will dispatch them like they did with previous contenders for the last 30 years.

It's the later what Beijing is afraid the most.
 

Viva_Viet

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America’s fantasy that China will soon collapse like the Soviet Union did is based on arrogance and ideology, not facts and reason
Tom Fowdy
Tom Fowdy
is a British writer and analyst of politics and international relations with a primary focus on East Asia.
4 Jan, 2021 14:40
Get short URL
America’s fantasy that China will soon collapse like the Soviet Union did is based on arrogance and ideology, not facts and reason

FILE PHOTO. © Getty Images / Karin Slade
  • 150

  • 1



Follow RT onRT
Washington’s dream that Beijing is doomed to failure seems as strong as ever, despite events of the last year showing that American triumphalism is misplaced, misguided and potentially moribund.


2020 was a year to forget, but it was also immensely geopolitically significant. The outbreak of Covid-19 was a world-changing event which will profoundly alter the globe. Not least because the political shockwaves it created have brought relations between the United States and China to their lowest ebb in modern times.
In what many describe as a “new cold war,” the Trump administration has used its remaining time in office to escalate confrontation with Beijing and forcefully set a legacy for Joe Biden to follow. In setting out this scenario, some in the United States have framed the situation and its risks in very “short termist” thinking. It assumes China only has a short space of time to achieve its goals before, apparently, it becomes economically and socially depleted.
ALSO ON RT.COMThis US show reveals how shallow & ill-informed America’s understanding of China is. No wonder we're losing the economic battle
An article published in Foreign Policy, titled “China Is Both Weak and Dangerous” and covering the book The China Nightmare: The Grand Ambitions of a Decaying State, by American Enterprise Institute’s Dan Blumenthal, argues that China’s political system is weak and lacking in legitimacy. It then proceeds to argue that it is therefore, apparently, ideologically incapable of generating sustained growth or the innovation required to truly become a superpower and “displace” the US. As a result, the piece argues, Beijing only has a short period of time to “accomplish its goals,” thus making it dangerous.
Not surprisingly, I don’t buy into this argument. If anything, I would describe this kind of attitude, which I term “collapsism” as an ideological expression of overconfidence from some within the United States. It is a view which has become endemic since the end of the Cold War in 1991, which simply assumes China must be destined to fail at some point, while America marches on.
This of course is to be expected from the American Enterprise Institute, which, it goes without saying, is a ridiculously neoconservative and pro-war institution, but it nevertheless represents a broader and more misleading set of assumptions in American politics. The idea, perhaps more famously put by Gordon Chang’s “The coming collapse of China” ( 2001), is simply that the Chinese system is doomed to implode because it doesn’t tick the right ideological boxes. If anything, this view risks America being overconfident.
“Collapsism” better known as the “end of history thesis” is a strand of Cold War thinking which assumes that liberal capitalism is the only way to create a successful and stable country. It holds that all other ideologies are fundamentally flawed and cannot truly replicate the success of the West, even if they represent a geopolitical threat. It is an expression of American triumphalism following the collapse of the Soviet Union, based on the premise that in the end the West became more prosperous than the USSR and had outmatched it on innovation.
ALSO ON RT.COMDe-dollarization in overdrive: Russia & China boost settlements in national currencies to 25%
Liberalism, having evolved out of Christian thought, has embedded the idea that one’s own “divine destiny” is inevitable and, in the same way, believes western political thought is “the way, the truth, the life.” On top of this, it also holds that only liberalism allows creativity and critical thinking, and, thus, technological success.
You don’t have to read heavy books on international relations to find this view; attitudes towards China are riddled with it. Mike Pompeo once boasted, “The Communist Party knows it can’t match our innovation,” spreading the misleading trope that the only way China can obtain technology is by “stealing” it, and claiming all Chinese students in the US are “sent” to do that. Overall, this is an expression of overconfidence that clouds US foreign-policy making. The idea that if China can be contained quickly and harshly, it can be beaten as its political system is leaning on borrowed time.
Not surprisingly, this view is also endemic in the mainstream media and commentary. When Covid-19 broke out in February, newspapers rushed to frame the outbreak in ideological terms and assumed naively such a catastrophe could never happen in a transparent and progressive society like in the West. This had to be a failure of China’s system. This is obviously a trait of this ideologically driven discourse outlined in ‘The China Nightmare’ and the events of 2020 proved it wrong before it was even published, which shows how short-sighted the analysis is.
First of all, it talks about China’s growth slowing down and facing the “Middle Income Trap”– this is the idea that, like some countries in Latin America, nations reach a certain point then fail to grow further. However, where is the evidence for this happening? China is already passing the middle-income mark and is set to be designated a high income country by 2023.
ALSO ON RT.COMBeijing warns of retaliation over US delisting of Chinese firms, which runs ‘against market rules & logic’
It is also projected to become the world’s largest economy by 2028. The reason why many countries failed to surpass the middle-income mark was because of US led capitalism, not in spite of it. Mexico for example, cannot innovate because its economy is completely hegemonized by the US, who dominates its key industries and extracts Mexican talent for itself.
China does not face these problems or pitfalls. It has an increasingly educated workforce, universities which are increasingly competitive globally, a number of “unicorn” startups to rival the US and record levels of foreign direct investment in 2020. Does this really seem like a society “on the brink” with no potential to innovate? The author might want to consider that China has published more scientific papers since 2018 than any other country in the world, and files more intellectual property patents than anyone else too. Not bad for a nation that apparently “steals” everything, right?
Given this, the idea that China is weak and does not have time on its side is one based exclusively on ideology, not facts. Whilst the book highlights upcoming challenges, such as demographic decline, these are treated in a fatalist manner as if China has no way to absolve them, such as encouraging inbound immigration in the way Western nations have done. If anything, last year should have been a stark warning that China’s political system is not easily overcome or contained and, contrary to US hysteria, is not rampaging on a zero-sum path to world domination or to displace the US. This is a neoconservative fantasy which simultaneously believes Beijing is coming for Washington, yet cannot understand why China has not collapsed already.
ALSO ON RT.COMRelations between Russia & China at ‘historic high’ after ‘once-in-century epidemic,’ says Chinese foreign minister
As a result, the real danger in US-China ties is the belief that a path of confrontation on Washington’s behalf, as we have seen with Trump, can upend Beijing quickly and affirm US supremacy. Realism is needed, rather than ideological and triumphalist thinking. China’s strategy has involved hedging against American pressure by consolidating more economic agreements and options with others, rather than barging headfirst into a bloodthirsty conflict, that suggests it is a country that is biding its time.
It would be very happy to stabilize its ties with Washington. If anything, American complacency and the belief China can be stabilized, encapsulated by Pompeo’s legacy, is inherently dangerous. Beijing has been written off too quickly many times before, and history does not always repeat itself and run in straight lines, as the US has assumed since 1991.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Bcs Trump made a stupid mistake : Cancelled TPP deal and accused VN for money manipulation, so US had to keep buying products from CN, specially during Covid.

Biden realize the problem and remove VN from money manipulation list, it will help more investors can close their factories in CN and flee to VN toi avoid 25% tariff.

Next step, Biden should slap more tariff to laptop, chips, iphones, PPE etc manufacturing in CN, CN surely will got hit hard.:cool:
 

Bouncer

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It's been 30 years, and people in the West still have a very poor understanding why USSR went belly up, and I am saying these people make what Western political elites are: intelligence people, think tankers, analysts, advisers etc.

It's all very, very simple: what destroyed USSR were not some "liberals," civil society, NGOs, or, spare the comedy, dissidents as West keeps imagining, but CPSU's own deep insiders who weren't even a bit amused with Western liberalism.

Up until the last days of USSR, any party official pass the complete nobody could've ordered to have Moscow cleared within hours, but nobody did.

It was very much a mean for the new impatient CPSU generation to finally push the last of CPSU's pre-war generation geriatric ward leaders out of power for good, or worse. They were afraid that Breznev, and co. will dispatch them like they did with previous contenders for the last 30 years.

It's the later what Beijing is afraid the most.
Very insightful. What about economic stagnation in the USSR? The common narrative that corruption and the heavy financial toll Afghan war took on the USSR contributed to its demise?


It's the later what Beijing is afraid the most.
Seems very unrealistic considering how strong the current President is. But then again, you never know with politics.
 

xyxmt

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Bcs Trump made a stupid mistake : Cancelled TPP deal and accused VN for money manipulation, so US had to keep buying products from CN, specially during Covid.

Biden realize the problem and remove VN from money manipulation list, it will help more investors can close their factories in CN and flee to VN toi avoid 25% tariff.

Next step, Biden should slap more tariff to laptop, chips, iphones, PPE etc manufacturing in CN, CN surely will got hit hard.:cool:
WOW Vietnamese see everything bad happens because VN was not included and everything good otherwise.
 

Paul2

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Very insightful. What about economic stagnation in the USSR? The common narrative that corruption and the heavy financial toll Afghan war took on the USSR contributed to its demise?
Economic stagnation?

USSR was in the best shape economically at the time it collapsed than during any of Breznev's years. If anything, it was bouncing back, and was on the upward trajectory.

Seems very unrealistic considering how strong the current President is. But then again, you never know with politics.
Now it certainly is. You can certainly feel that the water is boiling under Xi, murmur going, but nobody is taking on him.

But the moment anybody will show weakness, many thousands will bare daggers in an instant.

Xi has no political camp of his own. His only backbone are his few personal friends.

Jiang in comparison had thousands of personally loyal people, and Xi still largely not touching anybody really close to him.

Even like 3rd tier players in the CPC had loyalty networks way bigger than Xi

This is why Xi is hellbent on telling again, and again: I'm not going anywhere, I will outlast any of you in power, I will stay as long as needed to secure my power.

That's why the man has even unearthed Hua, and Jiang Qing. It's because he himself seen countless other power players stripped of power, and dignity in a blink of an eye the moment they showed their back to the party. He is very, very afraid ending like Jiang Qing, Hua, Hu, Zhao, or Deng.

The party at large is very selfish. Party elites, our grey cardinals, they can throw anybody under the bus if it's convenient, even the general secretary if needed.
 
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Viva_Viet

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WOW Vietnamese see everything bad happens because VN was not included and everything good otherwise.
Hehe, Biden wouldn't remove VN from black list if he didn't plan to slap more tariff on CN's products.

More Foxconn investments continue fleeing to VN, they feel that Biden will slap 25% tariff on iPhone soon. Once day, Foxconn factories in CN only manufacture Iphone for CN market while factories in VN will manufacture Iphone to export to EU-US:cool:

---
Foxconn's total revenue in Vietnam amounted to $3 billion in 2019, $6 billion in 2020, and could reach $10 billion this year. Foxconn's goal in the next 3-5 years is to increase sales in Vietnam to $40 billion.

According to the latest plan, the company will add 10,000 positions in Vietnam this year. In early 2021, Foxconn posted recruitment notices for the positions of electronic component assemblers and engineers for its factories in Bac Ninh, Bac Giang.

In 2020, the total foreign investment capital registered in Vietnam was $1.5 billion, creating jobs for more than 53,000 officers and staff. In particular, $900 million was invested in Bac Giang province, creating jobs for more than 35,000 workers. Foxconn also plans to invest $1.3 billion in Thanh Hoa province, opening positions for 100-150,000 workers.
 

Beast

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US can't collapse now. China haven't leech american full enough. They are more to leech from american :lol:
 

dbc

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Economic stagnation?

USSR was in the best shape economically at the time it collapsed than during any of Breznev's years. If anything, it was bouncing back, and was on the upward trajectory.


Now it certainly is. You can certainly feel that the water is boiling under Xi, murmur going, but nobody is taking on him.

But the moment anybody will show weakness, many thousands will bare daggers in an instant.

Xi has no political camp of his own. His only backbone are his few personal friends.

Jiang in comparison had thousands of personally loyal people, and Xi still largely not touching anybody really close to him.

Even like 3rd tier players in the CPC had loyalty networks way bigger than Xi

This is why Xi is hellbent on telling again, and again: I'm not going anywhere, I will outlast any of you in power, I will stay as long as needed to secure my power.

That's why the man has even unearthed Hua, and Jiang Qing. It's because he himself seen countless other power players stripped of power, and dignity in a blink of an eye the moment they showed their back to the party. He is very, very afraid ending like Jiang Qing, Hua, Hu, Zhao, or Deng.

The party at large is very selfish. Party elites, our grey cardinals, they can throw anybody under the bus if it's convenient, even the general secretary if needed.
yes largely agree with your assessment the implosion due to internal power struggle is the achiles heal of all centrally managed behemoths like the CPC. I hope you are not in China.
 

Viva_Viet

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yes largely agree with your assessment the implosion due to internal power struggle is the achiles heal of all centrally managed behemoths like the CPC. I hope you are not in China.
CN just got a wrong leader, he made Cnese believe that he can purge the corruption and make CN become a "second most powerful nation on Earth " etc......

but all Xi can make are just a humiliating retreat, leaving thousands wounded Cnese behind during VN-CN conflicts in 2014. Xi thought he could bully VN without help from daddy Jap and US like in 1979 :lol: and a trade war that make thousands to millions investors, including CN investors, fleeing to VN to avoid trade war. :lol:
 

hualushui

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CN just got a wrong leader, he made Cnese believe that he can purge the corruption and make CN become a "second most powerful nation on Earth " etc......

but all Xi can make are just a humiliating retreat, leaving thousands wounded Cnese behind during VN-CN conflicts in 2014. Xi thought he could bully VN without help from daddy Jap and US like in 1979 :lol: and a trade war that make thousands to millions investors, including CN investors, fleeing to VN to avoid trade war. :lol:
2020-11-19_150128.jpg
 

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