October 25, 2010

QotD: Mark Steyn on China’s coming demographic bomb

Filed under: China, Economics, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 12:29

In 2009, the US spent about $665 billion on its military, the Chinese about $99 billion. If Beijing continues to buy American debt at the rate it has in recent times, then within a few years US interest payments on that debt will be covering the entire cost of the Chinese military. This summer, the Pentagon issued an alarming report to Congress on Beijing’s massive military build-up, including new missiles, upgraded bombers, and an aircraft-carrier R&D program intended to challenge US dominance in the Pacific. What the report didn’t mention is who’s paying for it.

Answer: Mr and Mrs America.

By 2015, the People’s Liberation Army, which is the largest employer on the planet, bigger even than the US Department of Community-Organizer Grant Applications, will be entirely funded by US taxpayers. When the Commies take Taiwan, suburban families in Connecticut and small businesses in Idaho will have paid for it.

[. . .]

Chinese state-controlled enterprises are buying up everything from copper in Canada to zinc in Australia to bauxite in Jamaica. They’re doing what the first settlers did vis a vis the Indians: They sell us trinkets in return for our resources. That said, I disagree with the conclusion of this video. The danger from China is not its strength, but its underlying weaknesses: As I wrote in America Alone, it will get old before it gets rich, and, unless it’s planning on becoming the first gay superpower since Sparta, the millions of surplus young men whom the One-Child Policy has deprived of female companionship is a recipe for profound social convulsions. That’s actually worse news than if China was cruising to global hegemony — because it means their calculations on how the Sino-American relationship evolves are even less likely to align with ours.

Mark Steyn, “Campaign Countdown”, SteynOnline, 2010-10-25

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