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“To understand is to perceive patterns.”
Isaiah Berlin

China’s meteoric rise has made people around the world, sit up and take notice of it. Countries are either jealous, scared or both at the same time. China has achieved all this in a record period of time. However, everything is not as smooth and calm as it seems. There are underlying fault lines and pitfalls in the Chinese utopian world and other nations are warming up to exploit those. There are issues of debt (internal and external), non-performing loans, and artificial currency rates. There are accusations of intellectual property (IP) thefts, hacking, bullying of corporates, supporting rogue nations, and interference in the matters of other countries/institutions. China also has issues of inequality, human rights violations, an over-strong central leadership, and extended overreach in economic expansion. But above all of this is its economic dependence on exports, and this aspect of its economy could become its number one nemesis. Is it just a situation of ‘Curate’s Egg’ or the experts are overreacting to the challenge thrown by the Chinese hegemonic regime.


China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 11 December 2001. Two Basic Principles of the WTO are: ‘Fair Trade Practices’ and ‘Transparency’. On paper, China accepted all such conditions. It agreed that foreign investors would be able to own up to 40 percent of shares of commercial banks in China, and up to 48 percent of telecommunication firms, however, the reality is far from this. The United States and the West, in its exuberance to open up such a huge market for its products, turned a blind eye to all such unfulfilled requirements. The US exports to China zoomed from measly $16.19 billion in 2000 to $91.91 billion in 2010 (source: statista.com). The US investment in China also saw a jump from $11.14 billion in 2000 to $59.0 billion in 2010. China became ‘The World’s Factory’, and its share in exports rose from 2% of the world market share, in 1998 to 10.4% by 2010. A Minotaur was being created and it was ready to gorge itself on the world market.


In the 1990s, the Chinese banks were ‘feeling their oats’ and in that temerity, to please the political masters, they went on a monetary binge. Loans were sanctioned without due diligence. The situation became so bad by the late 90s, that non-performing loans (NPL) in the Chinese banking system had reached an alarming level of 40% (5% is considered healthy, from the global perspective). To control the situation, the Chinese banking reforms were started in 2003, and China Development Bank subsumed the NPL and magically brought this ratio down to 3%. But by 2010 again local governments were strapped with a debt of 10.7 trillion yuan, which was nearly 30% of the Chinese GDP (as per Chinese national audit). This critical situation was again corrected by the government agencies in their special opaque way. So we see a pattern wherein the government and its agencies step in from time to time and adjust the figures. Li Keqiang, who is a Chinese politician and one of the leading figures behind China’s Financial and Economic Affairs, once allegedly told the U.S. ambassador in one of the meetings, that China’s GDP data are basically manufactured, confirming this widely held suspicion. The artificial economic numbers can also be confirmed by the local government offices, however, the task is bit complex. The officials of cities and corporations in China are given a number of quantifiable goals to achieve every year. Their progress and promotions depend on surpassing those goals. Now achieving all those goals is difficult in many cases, so the officials make use of an old Chinese adage very effectively: “Numbers make officials, so officials make-up numbers”.

One aspect of the Chinese economy is that, they are unable to hide their debt burden. The Chinese national debt has reached a worrisome level. According to Bloomberg, China’s total debt in 2008 was about 141 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). By mid-2017 that number had risen to 256 percent. This number is equal to the Debt to GDP ratio of advanced economies of the USA, UK or Japan. The problem here is that China is a mid-income country with GDP per capita of just $15,400—barely a quarter of the U.S. level, which is an unsustainable model. Even, the governor of the People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, has sounded the alarm over this, but it is to no avail.

The United States was the largest trading partner of China, with $635.4 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2017. Goods exports totaled $129.9 billion; goods imports totaled $505.5 billion. The U.S. goods trade deficit with China was $375.6 billion in 2017. The U.S. has been warning China about this unacceptable imbalance, but without any concrete steps. The Chinese economy is export-oriented and President Trump has taken the bull by the horns. As of today US-China duo are involved in an all out trade war, adding to China’s existing problems. The U.S. administration has recently levied tariffs of 10 percent on $250 billion of Chinese products and this rate is set to increase to 25 percent by year-end. Beijing has found one way to take much of the sting out of U.S. tariffs. It has let its currency slide by about 9 percent against the dollar, making its own exports that much cheaper and largely offsetting the impact of U.S. duties. The U.S. has not responded to this till now, however they can lower interest rates, print more dollars, sell dollars or buy yuan to bring down dollar’s value, hurting China further. The United States knows that China has very less leg-room left to explore its options. Further devaluation of the yuan has its own limits and downsides, and China is well aware of that. China’s mega-rich want to escape this threat. They are investing in U.S. dollars and Treasurys as a safe haven investment. The wealthiest 2.1 million families control between $2 trillion and $4 trillion in stocks, bonds, and real estate. The Chinese leaders must be careful in further devaluing the yuan, to prevent more capital flight. At the same time, it can’t keep the yuan’s value too high either. This will slow the economy too much and trigger capital flight just the same. So China is in a ‘catch 22’ situation. Is it going to be a currency war in addition to the trade war, only time would tell.


One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution, one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship” – ‘1984’ – George Orwell 

In addition to monetary issues, China has ethical issues to resolve. If these issues are not resolved, they are going to bite back at China. Let us take the strange case of Ruopeng Liu. Ruopeng is dubbed as Elon Musk of China. Like Musk, he’s working on sending people into space, and has already sent them flying. He’s the man behind jet-powered surfboards, and is a multi-billionaire at just the age of 35 years. However, all this success has a dark side to it.  Lou is guilty of stealing the intellectual property of most of his product offerings in China. He has a criminal case pending in the U.S. courts for stealing designs of a famous American scientist, Dr. David Smith of Duke University. Dr Smith is one of the world’s leading experts on something called “metamaterials”. Metamaterials, he explains, are “some weird material that doesn’t exist in nature” and is used to make things disappear. Dr. Smith’s invisibility cloak is not like Harry Potter’s famous version as it does not hide things from the human eye, but it does make them invisible to microwave signals, which could have significant role in military applications. Liu had come to the U.S.  twelve years ago with the express intent of studying at Smith’s lab. He became Smith’s protégé and using that subterfuge he stole data and designs. Today an advanced version of Dr. Smith’s invisibility cloak is proudly displayed in the lobby of his company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China. Some observers believe that he was actually on a mission from the Chinese government.

When a Chinese national goes abroad he has two goals. The primary goal of personal progression and the secondary goal of his government’s requirements. The primary goal cannot be achieved if the secondary has not been fulfilled. There are numerous such stories wherein Chinese students, research scholars and scientists, businessmen, diplomats, military personnel and even tourists have gone on a spy missions. Target abroad  could be governmental, institutional or commercial. Intellectual Property (IP) theft is the way of Chinese business and military life.

Loot a burning house’ is one of the 36 Stratagems of the Chinese philosophy. Chinese companies apply this in their day to day business regularly. Once the stolen IP has reached the desired destination, the Chinese use it openly without having any qualms about it. They flood the market with the cheap copies of the fake product. By the time the affected parties take up the issue with their own respective governments, the damage is already done. Price of the product would plummet, shares of the affected company tank, and at that opportune moment the Chinese company, accused of stealing the IP, moves in and buys out the original company at great discount. Of course very soon the legal case is dropped since the plaintiff and the defendant are the same. The case in particular is of the Segway, the self-balancing scooter company of the U.S. and Ninebot, a startup of China and a defendant. Ninebot stole the original designs and provided the same product to customers at a fraction of the original cost. Segway went to court, but finally had to sell out to Ninebot due to financial compultions and difficult business conditions. Segway’s years of R&D, hard work and millions of dollars had gone down the drain. Other famous cases are American Superconductor Corporation (AMSC) vs Sinovel of China, Dupont’s titanium dioxide formula theft case, Motorola and Sun Kaisens (a Chinese telecom company) case, Dupont and Monsanto Vs Chinese conglomerate DBN (Kings Nower Seed), T-Mobile (U.S.) and Huawei (China) IP theft case, Cisco Systems and Huwei IP stealing case, Avago and Skyworks IP theft by CLIFBA of China. The list of Chinese thefts is endless and the cases are mind-boggling.

Within their own country, the Chinese government does the job of threatening and cajoling. Technology transfer to the local partner is the first demand to be met by any corporation desirous of doing business in China. Stealing of the IP is matter of routine thereafter. Recent plan of Google’s to substantially expand its currently minimal role in the Chinese market—through the potential launch of a censored search engine code-named Dragonfly—has provoked uproar in the United States. Google has quietly removed “Don’t be evil” from the text of its corporate code of conduct. All that just to be in the good books of Chinese leadership. German car maker Mercedes-Benz was made to apologise to the Chinese government for “hurting the feelings” of the people of China for quoting the Dalai Lama on Instagram in one of its advertisements. A Taiwanese cafe, Gourmet Master Co.’s stock plunged, wiping out $120 million and another cafe chain, 85 Degrees Celsius was stunned by all food delivery apps in China, over Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit in the US for a cup of coffee. It is just about anyone’s guess, how and why these so-called powerful corporations are conducting their businesses in such miasmic and threatening environment.


Business threat levels and short shifting in China’s sphere of influence would go up as time progresses. This is just a preparatory period. To reach out to the outer world unhindered China has embarked on an ambitious program to meet its energy requirements. This also nullifies expected embargo by enemy forces in case of hostilities break out. The project is called Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) or One Belt One Road (OBOR). This is a pet infrastructure project of Chinese Premier Xi Jinping launched in 2013, spanning Eurasia and parts of Africa .


This initiative solves multiple purposes for China. In peacetime, it would be used to improve connectivity & commerce and in the wartime its purpose is obvious. However, the best part of the project is that host countries are taking the loan from China at commercial rates. The condition for giving loan is that the project would be be undertaken by Chinese companies using Chinese manpower. So China earns interest on its investment and provides employment to its workers at the expense of the host country. Experts have already sounded warning bells for the involved countries, since this project is going to benefit only China. All the countries involved have a huge trade deficit with China so the trade would generally flow in one direction. If China was truthful in its commitment then it would have developed industries along the routes, making the project mutually beneficial. But alas that is not the case. It seems the following countries had not heard the phrase “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts”, or else they wouldn’t have fallen for the Chinese debt trap and a new kind of colonialism : Montenegro ($865 million), Djibouti ($1.1 billion), Kyrgyzstan ($1.2 billion), Papua New Guinea ($498 million), Samoa ($181 million), Fiji ($496 million), Laos ($838 million), Maldives ($968 million) and Pakistan ($41 billion). None of these countries have wherewithal about how they are going to pay back this loan. Sri Lanka has already handed over the Hambantota Port on 99 years lease to China after failing to pay back to Chinese, and Malaysia has smartly withdrawn from the OBOR project. As per Jonathan E. Hillman of CSIS, the project could cost anything between $1-8 trillion. Only time would tell if China has overplayed its hand or this move takes it closer to being a generalissimo in every sense.



We are conditioned so effectively to play artificial roles that we mistake them for our true nature”JeanJacques

Inequality in China is increasing at every level. People in Xinjiang and Tibet are losing their habitats to Chinese aggression, and millions of them are either missing or living in Chinese concentration camps called ‘Re-education Centers’ (it is surprising that not even a single Muslim nation has raised its voice against it). The ruling Communist Party claims that  Xinjiang and Tibet have been part of China since ancient times. Xinjiang was only officially named and placed under central government control after being conquered by the Qing Dynasty in the 1800s. The predominately Muslim Uyghurs, who are ethnically distinct from the country’s majority ethnic group, the Han Chinese, form the majority in Xinjiang, where they account for just under half of the total population. This, however, is changing fast. According to government data, in 1953 Han Chinese accounted for just 6% of Xinjiang’s total population of 4.87 million, while Uyghurs made up 75%. By the year 2000 the Han Chinese population had grown to 40%, while Uyghurs had fallen to 45% of the total population of 18.46 million. Similar is the fate of Tibet. Most historians agree that Tibet’s assimilation into China was established during the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). The next two dynasties of the Ming and the Qing never directly ruled Tibet. In 1950 Chinese red army illegally occupied Tibet and made it China’s lebensraum.

Treatment of ethnic Han Chinese is no different from minorities, if they do not tow the official line.  Ordinary Chinese subjects have traded their freedom for jobs and money. But China’s high-profile billionaire businessmen and officials who got exposed to the free world and international organizations are voicing their dissent and keep disappearing at regular intervals. The latest case is of Meng Hongwei, the former Interpol president. He seems to have been detained under a new form of custody called “liuzhi”. Liuzhi, or “retention in custody”, is used by the National Supervisory Commission (NSC). The detainees can be denied access to legal counsel or families for as long as six months under liuzhi. China is also using social credit system (shehui xinyong) to snoop down on its citizens. Alibaba’s Sesame Credit program and other such platforms are being used to collect data on the local population.

Apotheosis of Xi Jinping rising him to sibylline stature has made Xi bolder. His opponents are fearful of him and his associates are careful. In addition to Mao Zedong’s ideology, latest addition of ‘Xi Thought’, on the hoof, into the Chinese university  curriculum is another assault on the freedom of domestic education. Could this ‘Yes Man’ coterie be adding to the downfall of China, nobody dare state that in that country.


Africa is being dubbed as second continent of China. China is pushing its way though Africa. Millions of Chinese have inundated the continent, and they are flooding it with Chinese replicas of locally produced goods. Chinese companies are bribing local dictators and disregarding aspirations of local populace. They have destroyed the ecological and environmental set up of Africa in its greed for raw material and minerals.

Even the United Nations have not been spared. Beijing is bribing U.N. officials to push through its foreign policy agenda internationally. It is meddling in the affairs of Australia and New Zealand’s domestic politics, donating million of dollars to the political parties who are ready to further Chinese agenda. China is even infiltrating local churches, to increase its area of influence. It is throttling the voice of western universities and institutions with donations and threat. Confucius Centers on foreign university  campuses have been tasked to spread Chinese propaganda.

The whole situation reeks of Western dualism and hypocrisy. Had it been any other country in the place of China, accused of such acts, the west would have called for sanctions on the regime. Here is a country which has been openly supporting rogue nations like N Korea and Pakistan. It is supplying them with missile and nuclear technology. It has been accused of IP thefts and industrial sabotage. It has been the largest producer of the counterfeit goods. It has forcefully occupied Tibet and Xinjiang, and suppressing its minorities. But with western eyes all is fine and the business going on as usual.

So who would tame China? The U.S., Russia, India, Japan or ASEAN. Russia has a lot to lose commercially, so it is ruled out. Japan has financial muscle power but has only defensive armed forces. Nations of ASEAN are too small to take on China. The United States is too far away and has its own constraints in the fast-changing geopolitics of the world. India would still take 20 years or so to reach where China is today. So it is possible only by a group of like-minded countries who have already come together in the recent times. They are about to start nibbling at the open wounds of this Leviathan. China has started this dirty game and now it would get paid back. Industrial and military espionage would increase against China. Its populace would be bombarded with mementic warfare. OBOR routes through Xinjiang, Balochistan and Jammu and Kashmir would be open to exploitation. And last but not the least, it’s export-oriented economy and currency would come under severe strain as the quartet of the U.S., India, Japan, and Australia start to work on  this beyond the pale behavior. China has taken the concept of ‘Pax Sinica’ too literally. If experts are correct and Thucydides had a prophecy, the next twenty years would be a very testing period for everyone on this planet, and the next generation has to watch out for ‘casus bellifrom China.


1. ‘Red Capitalism’ – Carl E. Walter

2. ‘China’s Great Wall of Debt’ – Dinny McMohan

3. ‘Currency Wars’ – James Rickards

4. ‘Asia’s Cauldron’ – Robert D. Kaplan

5. ‘The Hundred Year Marathon’ – Michael Pillsbury

6. ‘Chaos Under Heaven’ – Gordon Thomas

7. ‘Ghost Cities of China’ – Wade Shepard

8. ‘China Belt and Road Initiative’ – Sean Miner, Simeon Djankov

9. ‘China’s Second Continent’ – Howard W. French

10. ‘China’s Superbank’ – Henry Sanderson, Michael Forsythe

11. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Foreign-Policy, Yahoo Japan, The Economist, South China Morning Post, Council on Foreign Relations


136 thoughts

  1. To help fasten the process of decline in China, at an individual level, donot buy any cheep Chinese products which are produced from IP theft. A group of nations alone cannot fight this fraud but the people have to understand and help by not buying any Chinese goods. A very well written article which will help people understand the fraud china is doing and help fight this problem.

  2. A nice perspective, may be an input to the think tanks of policymakers in economies hurt by Chinese dumpin or those like Asian other countries attempting prophylactic neutralisation inititiatives against Chinese neo expansion s

  3. Excellent compilation. The writer has brought out thinks who h are known by very few. Very informative. Looking forward for part II of the series.

  4. Extremely interesting reading of a topic much in the news these days.
    The internal contradictions within will with considerable pressure from without, will cause the apparently monolithic structure to crack, in the foreseeable future. Whilst China will still remain in the top five nations, the convolutions it will undergo, will help transform its society into a less repressed one internally, even as the nations ganging up for their own interests and in some cases, survival of their way of life, will possibly mitigate the huge influence China wields in many third world nations and certainly in advanced countries.
    Kudos to the author for a well articulated article.

  5. Reblogged this on Adhyatm and commented:
    A very exhaustive and thought provoking analysis indeed. Three fundamental things wrong with China are – 1. Over reliance on export. 2. Totalitarian regime and unspecified delay of political reforms. 3. Strong territorial claims causing an environment of animosity around it.

    1. Thanks, Jolly. Hope to continue producing good work and keep learning from the amazing experience of all the learned people visiting this website.

  6. Remarkable Insights,China doesn’t offer symbiotic or fair relationships with anyone,they are parisitic in their dealings.In one guise or the other they penetrate demographics within and outside with the single motive to feed their insatiable appetite for their exploitative agenda.
    There is bound to be a reaction,the states who have involved themselves beyond reasonable means with China and have swallowed the sweet(credit)poison will become modern day vassals.
    The collapse or correction of the present Chinese system will be the only way out for them.

    1. Thank you, Amar. There is a lot happening, and happening very fast. Countries like India, Australia, Japan, S Korea, and Vietnam should also speed up the process along with the U.S.

  7. The depth of the article indicates the research of facts figure and illustration..
    An informative article worth investigating time to read..

  8. Sandy.. firstly my compliments to you for keeping your passion alive alongside your busy work schedule.😊

    You have done a lot of research on China. I am not an expert on China. So my comments are based on my limited knowledge.

    In fact, I gained more knowledge through your writings. Thanks.

    Coming to the series…

    Your style of writing is impressive. You have even quoted sources and have systematically analysed things…nice.

    I will not go into part 1 and 2. Because the facts brought out by you and the analyses thereon by you are indisputable and excellent..👏

    Part 3 was the most important one wherein you had drawn conclusions..

    In part 3, you have brought out how manipulative the Chinese have been..and still are..

    Now the question is… Who will tame China?

    As I understand, the Chinese are playing a game of chess involving all the major global players.

    At the global level, willy nilly the US, Japan, Russia, India etc have become responders because they have to make their moves in response to Chinese moves… because we all are in this game. We have no other choice but to respond keeping one’s individual national interests in mind.
    The grand strategy of China in this game is also the same…i.e., to make all the players in a way, stakeholders..so that the Chinese gains or losses affect all…

    China is deeply ingrained into all the global systems whether it is military, economic or world financial systems. Therefore, we can’t treat China as any sundry country at the global level. As brought out by you rightly, if it had been any other country, the reactions from the US or Russia would have been different.. like severe sanctions imposed to cripple the country’s economy etc.. but China is too big a player..

    I think China had already grown too big to be tamed by anybody. The Chinese have been wisely making their moves since 1990s..
    During their initial period of economic struggle, they ensured that the major economies are made the stakeholders in their progress.. including the US. Once their initial economic objectives were achieved, they concentrated on strengthening their military.

    All these years,
    major powers miscalculated the Chinese moves and their potential to hold the world to ransom…All of them continued to pursue their own national goals.. obviously..

    Even in the African continent, the Chinese knew how to manipulate the corrupt politicians, dictators and businessmen to establish themselves..

    I am only repeating what you have already explained..You know all these things…

    My sense is, since they are firmly rooted all over the world, they have now become major part of the global systems. Any major destabilization of China in any manner will lead to catastrophic global ramifications.. because the Chinese have checkmated all of us. The game is over.

    I think now there are no moves left for anyone to tame China. We can now only name and shame China and create a world opinion against its illegitimate activities..

    I think, we all are only trying to extend the culmination point by creating economic, military and financial hurdles for the Chinese. If we push China too hard against the wall..it will react aggresively even if it brings peril to the whole world..so we can’t credibly punish China without global sufferings..

    I don’t see any credible deterrence which can work at this stage… Chinese also know that… they can’t be pushed to the edge by anyone.. without the risk of a major global catastrophe..

    So.my persnal observation is, trying to tame China at this stage, is like trying to tame a dinausaur.

    Sorry for the long comment..
    My idea was to bring out various perspectives…so that we all think for alternatives..

    Thanks sandy..😊 for an educative and engaging series. I have learnt many facts and statistics about China from your series..
    Congratulations..well done..👍👍🙏🙏🙏

    1. Wonderfully summarized Mo. Your in-depth knowledge of the subject has given a lot to think and plan. Looking forward to more such inputs from you in the future.

  9. An excellent insight but come what may the world will have to live with the dictats of china and respect the sound financial status. The NPAs are an issue but china has cleverly invested in countries that do not have the wherewithal to pay back. The world is not aware of the nuances of the contracts but Sri Lanka being forced to lease one of its ports to China has definitely made the world sit up and take notice of the power that it wields. A very informative article. A great great effort. Bravo Zulu

  10. An insightful piece with a balanced outlook. Congratulations! on evolving into a mature researcher. China is and will remain an enigma. It is not easy to deconstruct a painstaking and very deliberate policy nurtured by the Chinese over a prolonged period. Their assertion has become visible only after achieving significant milestones and quasi-permanently realigning the geo-politics of the region and the world in their favour. USA had a strategy for exploiting the internal fault lines of USSR as early as the culmination of WWII, when they realised that they could not access the Soviet population and influence their thought process and USSR was not willing to align. Access to the Chinese population is even tougher as they have closely observed US modus-operandi and plugged quite a few holes. That said Geo-economics is the most potent tool to impact China. They are the number one shipbuilders, both mercantile and military in the world and account for nearly 15% of world export. The new alignments of Quad and possible revival of TPP pose challenges but do not have the muscle to pin China. Which nation is willing to stick its neck out against China? Everyone is playing the wait and watch game! Kudos to your effort and clear chain of thoughts…..
    What Next ?

    1. Thank you, Atul for a well-articulated review. Yes, military build-up of China is worrisome and that is where I finished this article, for readers to ponder upon.

  11. Hi Sandy, well written. Surprising that US allowed China to have a Negative trade deficit. Hope the Chinese economy doesn’t become unstable as too many countries are dependent on them! Just imagine if a Lehman brothers like issue happens there!

    1. Thank you so much. You pointed out correctly. The U.S. government managed it once, during the financial meltdown, however its a continuum in China.

  12. Sandy a very well researched article with excellent information. I really benefitted from it. Will China be tamed? Who knows. But if it happens it has to be from the inside because the state has become too powerful to be tackled externally. One also wonders whether China needs to be tamed or is it enough if it’s behaviour can be modified to bring it in tune to the laws based world order? Food for thought.

    1. Thank you for the appreciation. Yes, you are correct on this account. All of us have to ponder upon the methodology to tackle China. West has been hoping for China to come to adhere to international norms for the past 70 years. But China remains firmly embedded in its doctrine. So now the question is should we act now or wait for WWIII.

  13. A lucidly written, well researched and informative article. Spent time today morning to read all three parts again. It was time well spent. Your conclusions in part three are insightful. Great job.

  14. My opinion -:
    1. An excellent compilation giving detailed information about China but kindly give the due to the writers and the sites from which the facts have been taken ,in the form of footnotes .
    2. The objective of analysis @ who can tame China has just been summed up in few paragraphs without going into the detailed analysis of who ,how ( methodology ,i.e, exploit inner contradictions )(caveat – pl forget about using force in even any worst case scenario in future until and unless their is some psychopath in power some where but will lead to mutually assured destruction ) and why the concerned nations can achieve the objective of taming China .
    Regards !
    Raghu Vir

    1. Thanks, Raghu. May be you didn’t scroll down to the end, all the writers have been acknowledged. The premise of the article was not how but who. It has also been brought out why China should be tamed but yes it is still debatable.

  15. China has become chaotic. They have no institutions and no independent think tank. Their richness in such a short period has created an unhappy and suppressed society.
    OBOR and BRI will prove to be their nemisis. Next few years they will be busy fighting Muslims, whom they are now befriending.

  16. Congratulations and thank you for your extensive, comprehensive and detailed work. It appears you have embarked on a singularly massive missionary attempt to educate those who can focus long enough and have a vested interest in the outcomes.

    1. Dear Galtz, thank you so much for the kind words. Hope I continue to produce the kind of work I want to, and bring out some aspects from my angle.

  17. Great research. I followed China’s growth for many years and have always been astounded by how many Westerners willingly accept the end justifies the means narrative. Many enviously look away, refusing to see the shaky foundation and immorality on which China’s growth is built. It seems moral outrage can be assuaged if enough money offered.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. I have just set out on this journey. Hope to continue writing some quality stuff and keep learning from polymath like you.

  18. Sandeep,
    A wonderful analysis, gripping commentary, well researched. Enjoyed reading it, as usual. My compliments!

  19. For a lot of the West, this is a self-inflicted wound caused by corporate greed.
    Allowing our manufacturing base to diminish and dwindle. Outside of the US, our economies have become far too reliant on cheap Chinese imported goods. If the flow suddenly stopped countries such as the UK would have severe social backlash between the haves and the have-nots. Although I detest Trump, at the moment he is only one pushing back against China’s growth, at the cost of the US jobs and its continued theft of intellectual property and backward engineering of products.

    Is it too fanciful to predict a naval battle in the future where we face off against China in our war ships built with rusting Chinese steel?

    1. Well said, Kevinashton. What amazes me is that how conveniently corporates kept cooperating with China’s rogue behavior, so that doors to such a huge market are not shut. The recent example of Google agreeing to do filtering/blocking of various sites for China market at the behest of the Chinese government and at the same time refusing to cooperate with the U.S. government on homeland security issues, smacks of double standards.

      1. Unfortunately, “we the people” are still trying to understand that internet giants like Google and facebook don’t have a conscience, they are just businesses and like any other business governments need to make laws to make sure they operate to a basic internationally agreed ethical code. So far western governments have avoided this because of the complexities of the task. Just like getting American corporations such as Amazon to pay a fair share of tax on it’s earnings in the UK, for fear of Amazon pulling out and moving it’s warehouses to Ireland or mainland Europe. Avoiding such difficult moral questions, only stores up bigger problems for the future. In the worst case dystopia future were mega companies control everything, even goverments.

      2. You just about nailed it with your summarization. It’s all about money and both governments and corporate giants bend when it comes to that aspect. This is the exact reason all have been staying quiet in anticipation of trepidation from China, and accept it’s fraught behavior.

    1. You are absolutely correct on that account but the desire to dominate and decimate is beyond the pale behavior. Thanks for stopping by.

  20. In connection with the picture offered, I recently read about Chinese attempts to woo Greenland into their typical ‘development’ arrangement, whereby they would gain mining rights, food resources, land leases and employment (including management) for their own workers in exchange for a development contract in the far north of the massive island continent. This has potentially powerful longterm geopolitical ramifications.

    Relatedly, I have long been thinking about how countries largely propelled by ‘socialist’ worldviews or ideals, in other words who enjoy a kind of built-in community oriented image of advancement, have been quick to pick up upon the centralized potentials (for intrusive control, theft, espionage, etc) of the evolving internet. This is in contrast to the relative naivety in the West, especially in California where the web culture originated, where unrealistic social ideals and utopian thinking (albeit of a purely technological and therefore false nature) seem to color everyone’s thinking.

    It is especially troubling in the sphere of artificial intelligence technologies, where the Chines have well developed secretive research activity centers whose projects are entirely coordinated with military and state economic goals instead of any individual schemes.

    Good article. Thanks for it. It causes me to think back upon my long stays in China in the late 80s and early 90s, contrasting the visions presented then with the unfolding events now.

    1. Thanks for a wonderful assessment, and what better way than to learn it from someone well versed with China and its ways.

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  22. Well written and academic. However, seems like a two-faced narrative. It seems colonisation by European powers is for the benefit of the colonised but Chinese colonisation is not. China is suppressing the aspirations of the people of Xinjiang and Tibet but India is doing a favour to Kashmiris by maintaining status quo. As far as I know they are not forcing anyone to buy from them or trade with them.

    1. Thank you, Ankur for the kind words. You are correct when you state that colonization by Europeans was as bad as it could get. However, Europeans have lots of regrets for those deeds. Chinese cannot justify their deeds giving examples of Europeans. Tibet was never a part of China except for a brief period. On the other hand, Kashmir has been part of greater India for long periods in history. At the time of Independence also the King chose to be with the Indian republic, whereas Dalai Lama did no such thing and was forced to take shelter in India. Thanks for the exemplar assessment.

    1. A very pertinent question. I have answered the same in the last paragraph. No single country can achieve that, not even the USA. So it has to be a joint effort of like-minded countries. Thanks for stopping by.

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  24. Sandeep, a timely and well thought out piece.
    Excuse my if these points have been raised already but my understanding is that Japan is rearming with the full support of the West, something that would have been unthinkable 10 years ago but is widely seen as essential now.

    Secondly, if or when China invades Taiwan that will be similar to Hitler’s March into the Sudetenland. If we don’t stop them there then the fight will be on our doorsteps.

    Incidentally, my wife and I were recently on a train heading from Jaisalmer to Delhi. Our two compartment companions were young Chinese Australians. It is no exaggeration to say that their entire conversation could have been scripted by the central bureau in Beijing, in fact, so relentlessly critical of Democracy and the West was it that we were convinced they were a small part of this massive and shockingly transparent attempt by the Chinese to undermine us.

    Do they really believe we are so stupid ? Will this underestimation of the West and our resolve be their fatal flaw ? Wasn’t “100 years of humiliation” enough for them ? Will they force us to make it 1,000 years next time ?


    1. Thanks for the detailed analysis Bill. It is sad that those Chinese Australians who chose to move out of China(or maybe, were born in Australia) were critical of the very system from which they getting tremendously benefitted.
      When Hitler took similar actions(what China is doing today) the whole world ignored those signs and even tried to mollycoddle Germany. A similar mistake is being made again. I would be writing about those things soon. Regards.

  25. Hi Sandeep, thank you for your informative and attention keeping series of articles. If I may suggest an addition or perhaps an idea for a future article: an exhaustive analysis of yuan (renminbi) management and a history of mostly low inflation in China over the last 25 years inspite of boom growth years. For those familiar with Modern Monetary Theory, this will provide some markers for how debt has been leveraged at will due to low inflation. Leverage of debt has not been limited to wiping the slate clean of Non Performing Loans (which you allude to in your opaque nature of Chinese management). While some western forecasters seem to think that there will eventually be a debt reckoning, I am highly doubtful that this will come to pass. If debt is written in the native currency, the central bank can always buy debt in OMOs or print. This management of the economy and especially inflation is why China manages their economy including their stock markets with a overabundance of caution.

    1. Thank you so much, Rakesh for your kind words and exhaustive analysis. I had debt and currency related comprehensive article in mind, however, keeping in mind general populace and their inclination towards more generic adumbration rather than too complex an explanation, I restricted my self. Anyway, China is a vast topic and I would keep touching upon various such issues from time to time. Thanks for stopping by.

  26. I think you’re referring to those “Confucius Institutes” in your third paragraph from the end. They have been established on the campuses of quite a number of universities in Western Europe and North America. While ostensibly they provide financing to cash-strapped universities for the construction of new buildings, etc, everybody knows that their undercover function is to spy on scientific research carried out by their host university.

    1. You are bang on George, the penetration is so deep that despite local governments being aware of it, are unable to take action. Thanks for the keen observant eye to spot the spelling and sparing your time.

    2. How are you people doing? I hope, all my blogger friends are doing fine and helping out the people in need.

  27. Thank you again for a well-researched and documented article. I feel as though for the first time I have actually had something to read about what is actually happening in our world to really begin to understand it all. It is terrifying, but at 78 this coming November, I may not be here to see it all come to pass. I cannot understand why people of this earth cannot begin to try to work together to resolve some of the major issues faced by the world as a whole. I guess it is ego at the base of everything. Hoping someday for things to be different, but as I am noting, not likely to happen in my lifetime. Thank you kindly once again.

    1. Anne in a few beautiful words you have stated such an important aspect of life which people sometimes realize too late in life, or do not realize at all. The place I originally belong to, has a book called ‘Maha Upanishad’, which is over 5000 years old. That book has a life-changing statement “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, which means “the world is one family”. Such simple words with such a deep meaning. Yes, I also hope that the world is a better place one day. Thank you so much for your kind words.

    1. I shall continue my pursuit, unfortunately, at present, I have a task on hand which is keeping me occupied. Once that is completed I will continue with my quest. Thanks and regards.

      1. It has been obvious for long that China was upto no good. There was nothing in its actions that were inspiring for people around the world to love it. The subject article explains very well why it is so, backed by data and analysis.

        In my opinion China plans and strategizes for several years ahead. In effect it prepares in advance for how the world/different countries are going to react; has worked out its options for different scenarios. Therefore, it is going to be extremely difficult task to correct/tame it, especially considering its size, wealth and power.

        Having said that, I strongly believe that nature has a way of balancing, for it to survive which is not clear at a particular point of time. In the past, colonial powers simply walked in and occupied. The natives neither had the wherewithal nor the ability to dislodge them. Extraneous factors like the world war paved the way for the occupiers to leave.

        Today, the world is more connected and information flows instantly, so it would not be easy to play dirty and get away. Covid-19 has united the world as never before. Subterfuge and foul play by one player alone cannot continue.

      2. Thank you so much, Buttanna, for stopping by and sharing your wonderful assessment. As far as the COVID19 is concerned, there are so many conspiracy theories. One doesn’t know what is the truth. One such theory, I am privy to is, that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was indeed conducting genome alteration procedures. The tests were conducted on animals. Standard procedure is to dispose of those animals, however, the greedy staff, instead of disposing of the animals, sold them in the Wet Market. That is how the whole infectious chain started. It was not released intentionally, else China would not have had over 2 million deaths. The deaths have been assessed, bases on the number of mobile phone disconnections. If there is an error of 80-90%, even then the figures stand at 20-40 thousand deaths, and not just 4 thousand. China made two big blunder, it suppressed the information and allowed tourists to visit Europe on the Chinese New Year.
        The road ahead is not easy for China, as well as, for the rest of the world. We are heading for a very scary and interesting phase, whichever way we look at it.
        You are so correct that China plans ahead. They plan for the long term. We have to understand the Chinese psyche. The problem is that the whole world doesn’t understand how Chinese people think. They are different, and they have to be dealt with differently. I shall address many issues in my concluding part.

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