Xi Jinping is doing his best Darth Vader impression and has the Chinese military in a force choke. After purging the system of anyone who can think, all that remains is the shell of a Defense Minister (now a press secretary for military diplomacy) and the “real” decision makers – the Central Military Commission – chaired by none other than Xi himself.
The Biden administration has issued its first wave of investment bans on the Chinese tech space – things like AI or tech with military applications. However, money isn’t the problem for the Chinese; the real kicker is losing access to American know-how.
We saw deflation take over Japan in the 90s, and it took them nearly 25 years to pull themselves out of it. The Japanese situation was leaps and bounds better than China’s current situation, so if this data is even partially indicative of China’s economic future, we could be looking at the beginning of the end.
If you’re thinking, “There’s no way China’s situation could possibly get worse,” you may need to talk to mother nature about the rains and typhoons causing flooding in northern China.
To understand the problem, we need to rewind about 2500 years. The Chinese crop of choice was and still is rice (although corn and wheat would have been quite productive given the Yellow River’s sediment makeup and the region’s arid climate). To produce rice, you must precisely control when and how much water is introduced throughout the growth cycle
As countries across the globe peeled back COVID restrictions, many of those economies saw huge (and much-needed) bumps. With China approaching six months since lifting its lockdown, the question on everyone’s mind is why hasn’t the world’s second-largest economy seen an economic bump?
I won’t hold my breath, and the Chinese shouldn’t, either. There is simply too much going on in the Chinese system for reopening to fix everything magically. Between countries pulling their manufacturing needs from China in favor of reshoring, a growing anti-China sentiment, and a terminal demographic situation…China isn’t looking so hot.