China at crossroads?
China has a history of shooting itself in the foot whenever it has internal problems. Recall The Great Leap Forward in the 1950s, a plan by Mao Tse Tung to move China from peasant farmers into a modern society through industrialization and agriculture. It failed miserably with famine that caused over a reported million people in China to perish. Then, for a lengthy 10 year period from 1966 to 1976 they underwent their Cultural Revolution in which the Communist leadership killed all intellectuals.
Their population is 1.3 billion and in comparison to ours which is 0.3 billion (point three billion) it seems they can overwhelm us in anything. In total land mass the U.S. is just a tad larger than China; U.S. arable land mass is 18.01% and China is less with 14.86%. Water shortages and contamination are a serious problem in China. The gap between the haves and have nots is growing and there is a serious imbalance between the numbers of marriageable young women versus men.
It was reported that thousands of villagers in Guangdong province’s Wukan village staged protests following the death of a local leader in detention. Roughly 6,000 farmers gathered in the village shouting slogans such as “save Wukan” and “return our farmland.” Wukan is currently surrounded by thousands of paramilitary police officers.
The Chinese Communist Party is acutely concerned that the country is on the verge of major social upheavals as the economy begins to slow. Zhou Yong Kang, the Party Politburo Standing Committee member in charge of state security, has called on all levels of government to prepare to deal with the possible eruption of social unrest.
China may be about due for another fall and if they have any public communications at all, the world fever from the so called “Arab Spring” to our “Occupy” movements will go endemic and soon spread into China and even possibly North Korea.
China is at a crossroads to see if it can move smoothly into the 21st Century or fall as previous great Chinese empires have done.
Cy Kammeier, USMC (Ret) contributed to this column