Economics · Politics

Covid-19 Marks the Indisputable Beginning of Chinese Hegemony

The strength of the Chinese economy is commonly underreported in mainstream media. Instead of comparisons based on the monetary exchange rate, one needs to measure purchase power parity (PPP), and on that metric the Chinese economy is already the largest in the world. The next objection is that China has 1.4 billion people so we need to look at averages. Yet, I contend that the relatively poor in Chinese society are already better off than the poor in the West. At the other end of the socioeconomic spectrum, you have high-income earners in the upper-middle class. This is where the fun starts because, for instance, a software engineer working for a large company in Beijing or Shanghai makes nominally about the same as an engineer in a Western European country. Yet, in terms of PPP he is far better off than his counterpart in Paris, or Berlin, or London.

In the West, our elites have fostered the illusion that we can just outsource manufacturing and make a living selling services to each other. In the service economy, it’s turtles all the way down, yet there is no real-world equivalent of tangible wealth being created. The US in particular is a problematic case as its economy is only sustainable due to the US dollar being the world’s reserve currency, which forces other countries to hold corresponding reserves. In contrast, the Chinese have been striving towards self-sufficiency, greatly accelerated by Trump’s economic sanctions. China no longer needs US suppliers to manufacture mobile phones whereas they were previously dependent on some suppliers such as Google. They no longer need them.

One of the most common-sensical yet most maligned political concepts has been enjoying a glorious return: self-sufficiency or, to use a term that is closer to what the Nazis used: autarky. One of Hitler’s goals was to create a fully self-sufficient economy because a country can fully support itself does not need other countries to survive. Doubtlessly, the British were the root cause of this idea as their blockade of Germany in World War I led to death by starvation of countless Germans and ultimately brought the Kaiser to his knees. After WW II, the emerging world order was based on the idea of internationalism. The thinking went that if all countries depended on other countries, and were afraid by Uncle Sam’s big stick, then world peace would be guaranteed. Obviously, for this we ignore the many crimes of humanity committed by the US because those don’t count as long as US-Americans have not been liberated from their government.

Autarky is a goal of the Chinese government, and of Russia’s, too. Note that this does not necessarily mean that there is no trade between nations but that you do not need international trade to survive. With an autarkic economy, a head of state can laugh at the US, the United Nations, or those dime-a-dozen Soros-funded think tanks when they feebly attempt to push their agenda within the borders of your country. Essentially, it grants political invincibility, which is one of the reasons the Western powers got so nervous when they witnessed the economic miracles of Nazi Germany. Unlike Nazi Germany, however, China is not surrounded by a bunch of has-been nations with an itchy trigger finger who are all-too-eager to join forces to suppress the new upstart. They still have to contend with the war-mongering United States, but we are already at a point where the combined forces of Russia and China, and possibly North Korea, provide a sufficient deterrent.

There has been a game changer: Covid-19. Now we know that the West is indeed ruled by a bunch of morons. It’s not that there was no evidence of that beforehand, but now we have seen our esteemed leaders first claim that it’s impossible to shut borders, then it was suddenly possible. They told you that you don’t need to wear facemasks, and even claimed that doing so will actually increase the risk of contracting Covid-19. Look at this crap [mainstream media source, and another one as it’s so much fun]:

Of course, just like there is “magic dirt” that makes white people richer but keeps black people in poverty, so do we have “magic masks” that don’t work when the general public wears them, yet are effective if the wearer happens to be a medical professional. I’m surprised we don’t have people demonstrating in pitchforks outside of government buildings because the level of stupidity on display is off the charts. Of course, that masks don’t work is no longer what the elites have always believed. The current line is that you should wear masks.

In the wake of the (manufactured) Covid-19 crisis the West learned an important lesson: Hitler was onto something when he pushed for autarky. If you don’t have a manufacturing base, you are dependent on other countries. Yet, those other countries may not be able to produce as much as you want or need. It’s not a comfortable situation to be dependent on foreign suppliers.

Covid-19 illuminated further cracks. One is that our Western liberal bullshit propaganda stories are worthless. Instead of helping each other, every country is suddenly fighting for itself. This includes scandalous behavior — I don’t write “illegal” because the laws are highly fungible; if you have the power to change the laws, anything can become legal — like Germany confiscating truckloads of facemasks for Switzerland. Germany also has a bigger bully to worry about and since we are now back at might-is-right on the world stage, it is perhaps no surprise that the US stole a huge shipment of facemasks that the Germans owned. There have been many examples of in-fighting in Western countries. Yet, one foreign country has shown that it is above that: China. At at time when no Western country was willing or able to help Italy, the Chinese sent planeloads of supplies and teams of specialists over there to help them sort out their mess.

While strong leadership is important, it is often neglected that we also need to have a general public that behaves rationally. Strong Chinese leadership shut down parts of the country and, for the very most part, its subjects followed orders and stuck to curfew rules. In contrast, in the West the common herd has been showing unimaginably poor judgment. This includes modern-day American folk heroes like Brady Sluder and other students who went on spring break parties only to accelerate the spread Covid-19 once back home again. Furthermore, it has become a sport among the young to cough at the elderly. If you walk outside with a facemask on, you’ll also have random people cough in your direction. Supposedly, some people have smeared door knobs or elevator panels with saliva as well. All of this shows that the common man in the West is a much greater moron than ever imagined. It is impossible to run a successful country when a large part of your citizenry consists of idiots. The Soviets liked having useful idiots. In the West, we have useless idiots.

In summary, China has demonstrated great leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic. They enforced draconian measures at home for a few weeks, which people willingly followed. Now they are back on track and help out Western countries who have shown that they lack the leadership as well as the required resources to help themselves. The West also lacks a citizenry that is able and willing to follow orders. The contrast with China couldn’t be starker. Looking back, the Covid-19 pandemic will be regarded as the first manifestation of Chinese hegemony. To the discerning observer, it has been obvious for years that the West needs China more than the other way round. Now even the most casual observer has to admit it.


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18 thoughts on “Covid-19 Marks the Indisputable Beginning of Chinese Hegemony

  1. I don’t wish to appear repeating myself, but it is in no way certain, that the Chinese figures are correct and that

    Chinese (PRC) hegemony? Yes – and no. China has an incredible demographical problem looming in the near future due to their stupid communist, “Club of Rome”-inspired one-child policy. Before the entire Chinese population gets raised out of poverty they will have grown old. This will weaken their economy and their defence capabilities. Russia’s population has been shrinking continuously since the 1990s as well.
    You must not forget the unbelieveably massive amount of sheer naval power that the USN has been projecting around the world and will continue to project in the near future. This is crucial factor in geopolitics to be taken into account.
    Let’s see what the future may bring, but in all honesty I’m not at all so sure about the probability of some of the trending concepts for the future…

    1. ” unbelieveably massive amount ”

      That’s a key point the guy in the vid is making and one I found very interesting.
      It goes sth like this: Naval Superpowers can become “land army superpowers” but not vice versa. And the USA is primarily that and has historically been.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AvNT3vyzr0

      Then again, there are people who say that the times where numbers of plane carriers are a good indicator of military might are over. I believe Russia messed up one of theirs and are now reconsidering the whole plane carrier thing.

      Tbh, I don’t buy the China hype either. Too much shadiness, too much shadow banking, too much outright manipulation, etc.
      Now, the key point here is “too much”. The oh-so-correct Swiss also have their fair share of “dead bodies in their cellar” as the German proverb goes, but it’s a bit less. (Just look up “Verdingkinder”, the jewish/nazi gold and all that.)
      And with these things it’s like in the FX market: In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king.

      1. Isn’t the current argument that the existence of hypersonic intercontinental ballistic missiles is an effective repellant of a navy? Furthermore, on the offensive side of the equation, those weapons make aircraft carriers superfluous, given that you can fire them off in the comfort of your own fortified underground bunker.

        I think if the US thought that China was not a military threat, they would have ramped up their presence in Far-East Asia significantly by now.

      2. You are thinking cruise missiles. Ballistic missiles are not good at hitting moving targets because most of their flight is not powered, thats why they are only good for delivering nukes to more or less fixed targets.

        On the other hand, hypersonic cruise missile like the russian Tsirkon are designed to be ship killers. They are not invulnerable to countermeasures, tough.

        That being said, aircraft carriers are much overhyped, they have been vulnerable to diesel-electric submarines since at least the 1980s. Ever since WW2, most of the time, aircraft carriers have operated in non-contested waters against very weak powers.

        During the Falklands war, argentine navy aviation supposedly managed to hit one of the british carriers (the british always denied it, having talked to some sources with first hand knowledge of the operation, I am reasonably persuaded that they did in fact hit the carrier. Even so, if you believe the british version of events, it was a very near miss).

        During the 1980s and 1990s, diesel-electric subs from allied nations (Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, etc..) have scored multiple “hits”on american carriers during joint exercises, although these have been routinely downplayed by the US Navy.

  2. What I’m asking myself: which country is more creative (innovative)? China or the west? Since people are buying and wearing masks, what I see in the west is, people are prettying them up. Making them look fancy.
    Chinese people are wearing them for decades, but didn’t came up with the idea to set a new trend.

    Buy the way: I would be pretty doubtful when reading any of the RT Deutsch articles. RT Deutsch has been spread fake news in the past and is under observation by the German Intelligence Service.

    1. In Asia, facemasks are treated as a disposable item, which they are. Nonetheless, the market caters to the more fashion-conscious as well. For instance, I’ve seen masks with printed cat whiskers during my travels in Asia. Anyway, this is not a good argument in general because it’s a mere fashion trend. Following your argument to its logical conclusion, you could state that some African bushmen have found ways of “prettying up” their body that are completely uncommon in the West and thus those people are more creative.

      If you doubt that particular article from RT, then look up the story. It was covered in mainstream outlets, too. The accusation of an outlet being “fake news” rings quite hollow to me, seeing how incredibly biased mainstream media are, in particular in Germany. Also, the German intelligence service isn’t an autonomous agency. They do what they are told and because the country is run by a bunch of leftists, they observe entities the powers that be don’t like. A very good example is that the extreme leftist party “Die Linke” is no longer under observation [German source]. Funny how this coincided with the massive shift to the left in the government.

  3. Hi Aaron,

    Two questions for you-

    Why don’t you think that China in 20years will be like Japan today due to aging demographics?

    If you believe in autarky on a national level, why is your life plan go live in a large city that is historically a global trading hub and work a job that is only possible in a globalized economy, reiquiring massive technological infrastructure to exist, and not buy a cheap farm somewhere, grow all your own food and generally be self sufficient?

    It seems that autarkic ideal would be Thomas Jefferson’s original plan for America- a nation of small, independent landowners. Office workers living in high rise apartments hardly seems like self sufficiency.

    Like according to wikipedia (so posssibly incorrect source, please link to a more accurate one if you have it), Singapore produces 5% of it’s own food. Their big goal is 30% by 2030. Now they do seem to run a really tight ship, so it’s likely they’ll achieve it, but still. Most Western nations have food surpluses at the end of the day, despite government that is a best incompetent.

    Now maybe I’m just stupid because I grew up in Texas, but if outsourcing iPhone manufacturing is bad, isn’t outsourcing food ten times worse?

    I apologise if this seems like trolling, but I remember once you said that finding inconsistencies in blogs was good brain exercise so I hope that either
    a) I’ll help you improved your thinking
    Or
    b) You’ll help me see why these apparant contradictions are in fact part of some coherent whole.

    1. I dont have time to look up specifics on Singapore, but I will venture an informed guess: at 726km2 of surface, they are one of the smallest countries on earth, almost a city-state. Its not that they have outsourced food supply, they were probably never self sufficient since gaining independence (cities always depend on their surrounding countryside for food).

      And, like most small sea trading city states, they depend on foreign supply lines. This in itself is a weakness that can be mitigated against by diversifying suppliers, which they do, but they are still vulnerable to a military blockade in case of war.

      On chinese aging: China has historically been less sensitive to human costs. It would not surprise me to see a larger death rate and shortened life expectancy as the country ages.

    2. I welcome your comments. You don’t need to apologize for asking questions.

      1) China isn’t too big on empowering women. Furthermore, now that the one-child policy is a thing of the past, young women indeed want to have more children, based on what I learned during my time in Beijing.

      2) I consider specialization the key to human progress. We can’t all go back to being subsistence farmers. I’m much better off trading my skills for money and using that money to buy what I need as opposed to toiling on my own little farm in the middle of nowhere. This may be fun in Harvest Moon or Stardew Valley, but in real life, that’s really tough.

      3) Singapore is the most amazingly well-run country on this planet. They don’t need to worry about food security as it imports food from 180 countries, with “no one single critical item that comes only from one single location anywhere in the world, however stable the supply source is” (source).

      1. Hi Aaron, thank you for replies ^_^

        1) I don’t think Japan did much female empowermend in the 80s (or ever, really), yet they were still unable to escape aging population. Also, China has, and will likely continue to, massively urbanize, and urbanization destroys fertility.

        2) If specialization is good for individuals, why not for nations as well? For exmaple, Western nations design and market products and the Chinese build them. This is the case with eg, Nike. In fact, a friend of mine went to a party at the now defunct techno club Concrete where Virgil Abloh was mixing. If you don’t know Virgil Abloh, it may be wise to read up on him real quick, specifically how he’d do shit like buy a bunch of 40$ shirts and shorts, print “PYREX” on them, and resell for over 500$. Anyways, my friend said the club that night was filled with Asian hypebeast dressed head to toe in Off-White (Abloh’s brand). I apologise if this offends anyone, but I couldn’t help thinking “man, you just paid like 500 for something one of your distant cousins got paid 5 cents to make”.

        Or is it more you believe in specialization on a micro level, but not a macro level? As in, indiviuals should specialize, nations should be self-sufficient?

        If so, is this like a continum where each person should do just one thing well (farmer, mason, carpenter, programmer, banker, mayor, ect) a small village should focus on one thing (eg a certain crop, or making a certain good) but have some self-sufficiency (a baker, a mason, a plumber, ect), a large city or state should be very good at multiple things (diverse manufacturing and/or agriculture) but it’s okay to import some things, and large nations should be entirely self sufficient and only trade for luxury goods and maybe rare earth elements that are only available in one place?

        3) If Western nations were as well run as Signapore, would you be okay with living in one that had outsourced most of it’s manufacturing, provided the outsourcing was done to a bunch of different places ?

      2. Or is it more you believe in specialization on a micro level, but not a macro level? As in, indiviuals should specialize, nations should be self-sufficient?

        Indeed.

        Regarding 3), that is an interesting thought experiment. Superficially, it may seem like a workable solution, but you’re still vulnerable to a blockade. Also, what if a pandemic breaks out and supply chains get disrupted globally? I know it sounds crazy, but just entertain this thought for a moment.

  4. Its fine to be skeptical of our own governments, but I think you fail to be adequately critical of the chinese government.

    Some quick points:

    Chinese hegemony is not a fact today, and it may be decades off, if at all. Its not assured by far.

    I agree PPP is a much better measure, but on the other hand, if anything, chinese GDP is overstated in western media. China has proven multiple times their data on anything cannot be trusted at face value. There are serious doubts about the real GDP numbers, which according to some estimates may be inflated by as much 10% to 20%.

    Continued economic growth for China is nothing assured. In addition to a dismal demographic pyramid as someone mentioned above, there has long been a debate among economists and geostrategists as to the so-called “middle income trap” and if China would be able to avoid it.

    China has grown spectacularly over the last few decades because they were so backward and were playing catch up with the developed world (and largely piggybacking on western innovation via outsourcing and industrial espionage). The double digit growth years are probably gone for good now.

    China is largely a maritime trading nation, and their economic might is heavily dependant on being at the center of the international systems industrial supply chain. If post-covid those supply chains dry or are redirected to other countries, which looks increasingly likely, their economy will suffer.

    Projecting to the future is always uncertain because future scenarios depend on decisions that are being done as we speak, or have not been yet made. Past performance is not predictive of future performance. In the 1960s it was projected that the USSR would surpass the US in a decade or so, and the same was said about Japan in the 1980s.

    China is a great power, but they have no dependable allies (Russia is a strategic partner, not an ally. And North Korea is at best a dysfunctional vassal) and even without taking the US into account, they are surrounded by other big and small powers that hate them, despite trading with them.

    Take Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Phillipines and Vietnam. These countries taken together outweigh China in GDP and population, and could do so militarily if they chose to. India is a nuclear armed state, Japan is 6 to 12 months away from going nuclear if they choose to do it (they already have a huge stockpile of plutonium). A S Korean nuclear arsenal would be close behind. Japan is also starting to build up their military capabilities, the Izumo class are the likely beginning of a carrier fleet.

    If you follow security news in Asia, you will see most of these countries already beggining to group together and doing more joint excercises in the face of a more assertive China.

    Chinese military is impressive on paper, but largely untested in battle. Their last war was a 2 week incursion into Vietnam in 1979 and they lost. Pretty much no one alive in the active service today has any real world combat experience.

    1. Oh, one more thing: China is not helping Italy or anyone else out of altruism, at the very leasts its a huge PR operation, which they need more than ever after the badly blundered the initial response.

      They didn’t “step up” like it was some humanitarian thing, there are always strings attached. The chinese communists know the value of propaganda very well.

      1. Isn’t this a very cynical view of this event? Of course, China is working on increasing its soft power, but this does not negate that they indeed provided Italy with supplies (and experts) which none of the Western powers was willing or able to do.

    2. “(Russia is a strategic partner, not an ally”

      I’d put it differently: It is China that is a strategic partner for Russia, given a) their vast border and b) Europe being too stupid to understand that Russia is not the enemy, but the zionist-american-banking cartel, hence Europe being hostile to Russia.

      1. I think Europe is being hostile to Russia due to US influence. Look into the influence of think tanks like “Atlantikbruecke”. Also, plenty of diplomatic cables have been leaked that revealed that the US sometimes even directly tells Western governments what to do. We should furthermore not forget that the US militarily occupies a large part of the Western world. This is just not brought to our attention in the mainstream media. There are still US troops in Germany, 75 years after the end of the war. For a more conspiratorial bend, there are allegedly “secret contracts” between the Germany and the occupiers that limit its autonomy (such claims were occasionally made by retired military men). Seeing how closely German policy follows the lead of the US, this doesn’t seem completely nonsensical.

      2. The drones that shoot Afghan civilians, ehrrr high-profile terrorists are operated from out of Germany.

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