The fashionable trend of this fall is to say that China is going to decline and weakening before our eyes (and the US and the West, by default, on the contrary, are getting stronger every day). Well, that is, this fashion is American, but it is implanted everywhere and in earnest. If in one prestigious publication, prestigious authors say that “China is a power in decline and this is a problem,” while in another, at almost the same time, we read that “the end of the rise of China has come,” and in the same place – that the Asian power is growing more and more. ” turns away the whole world “, then this is no longer a coincidence. This is an ideologeme, that is, someone formulated a very dubious idea, which now has to be stumbled upon everywhere.
It seemed to us that the essence of what is happening in the world since the beginning of the century is China’s gradual and steady rise to the first place in all statistical tables in all indicators: the volume of the product produced, the technological advantage, military invulnerability, plus the attractiveness of development experience and the growth in the number of supporters around the planet. … At the same time, the-re is a decline in the dominance of the United States with its allies (in relation to the same China), their dep-arture to second and other places. Someone was gladdened, someone was frightened, but facts are facts, no one, except for the marginalized, disputed them. Until this day, that is. And someone, probably, said: stop frightening everyone with the growth of China, it is not profitable for us, let’s try the opposite approach.
Let’s see how this is done, mainly using the example of the first of the listed materials, in this case from the American magazine Foreign Affairs. The authors are serious, although we note that one of them – Michael Beckley – is known for a book called “No Rivals: Why America Will Remain the World’s Only Superpower.” So from him you continue to expect those very explanations on the topic of eternal American domination.
And those are. First of all, historical. The idea of ??the authors is that powers are most dangerous for those around them not at the moment of recovery and success, but when their take-off slows down. Then the leaders of the country begin to fuss, believing that it is necessary either to urgently withdraw the dividends (before it is too late), or to jerk to continue moving upward, to come up with something new and adventurous for him. After all, the audience is accusto-med to constant success a-nd improvement of life, and then it will be upset. There are many historical examples – from classical Athens and Sparta to Japan in 1941 to the Russian Empire arou-nd 1900, before the war with Japan.
I almost forgot the main thing – the article has a subtitle: “The United States needs to prepare for a big war, not because its rival is on the rise, but for the opposite reason.”
But let’s see what, according to the authors, the decline of China can be traced. The conversation begins with simple things: at the beginning of the century, its economy grew by ten percent a year or even more, and now it is six to seven percent.
Statistics in this case are worse than fakes. For the economy to grow by ten percent every year, it must add more and more every year in absolute terms – since the base from which the percentage is calculated has grown over the year. It is clear that such growth does not exist in nature and that six percent of China’s GDP today in absolute volume may be more than ten percent years ago.
But converting everything conceivable into percent and then back is old fun, although someone can still be fooled. Well, the simple fact that after the “covid reset” of the world, China turned out to be the only large economy that showed a plus – this can be ignored.
Further more interesting. This and the other two mentioned articles indicate that investments in the Chinese infrastructure project “Belt and Road” are no longer what they were at its start (it would be funny if they grew like this year after year: investments are made to ensure that something to create, they cannot be endless, made them – and you work). Cases are listed when someone somewhere has abandoned the original plans – and countries in which voices like “what is this, everywhere are Chinese, and nowhere are there any Westerners”.
And finally, the trump card is demography. At the beginning of the century, the country had a young population, now there are more and more pensioners. By 2050, China will have 200 million fewer workers than it is now, but 200 million more retirees.
Something familiar, right? The fact is that all of the above, with minor am-endments, has been sounding in relation to Russia for several years, including demography. With the general conclusion of the name of Barack Obama : this is an economy torn to shreds, a gas station pretending to be a country. Although, if you look closely, similar ideologemes (“they are about to collapse”) were applied to many other countries and situations.
As a result, we have before us a classic case of stupid propaganda. It is built according to a simple technique: you need to take only bad facts, real or invented. Keep silent about the others. That is, create your own, false reality. And start brainwashing those who are not used to thinking on their own on the topic “is it not a lie.” Including not forgetting about the brains of the inhabitants of the country under discussion: so that in a difficult moment of life they think that it is not all bad for them, but the country is heading into decline. We must explain to them: everything is bad with you, but here, in America, there is eternal spring and superpower, because we are doomed to it.
This technique resembles a fight in the alleyway, when in front of such a leader of one gang strengthens the morale of his comrades-in-arms, shouting to them: yes, in front of you there are really weaklings, they are trembling. Then you must try to provoke an enemy who is actually strong and does not tremble at all. In general, the technology is well known.
Translating the situation into global politics: it’s one thing to gather allies for confrontation with a growing power, which is entering world leadership in front of our eyes, and quite another thing to explain to them that, in fact, it’s a power heading toward decline, it’s simple, friends, it should be like something to notice.
And at the same time, we now have to hear, first from the authors of American articles, then from officials and politicians, the same thing: who is your partner and ally in the world – this assembly shop torn to shreds? And the most interesting thing is that many of the speakers will really think so. Because it’s easier for them.