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Old 30th November 2022, 01:40 AM   #401
The Atheist
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
To know what people mean when they talk about "success" you have to find out what they deem to be success, and their criteria for achieving it. I'd have said a successful nation is one where most of its population are mostly content, regardless of any trade figures or treasury balances.
How do you think ordinary people achieve contentment?

Poverty? Longevity?

China has taken 800,000,000 people out of poverty in just 40 years, and has increased its GDP from 400 billion to 28 trillion in just 30 years. They've also increased life expectancy from 60 to 77 in the past 50 years.

Feel free to suggest other things that denote success, because they look pretty damned successful to me, especially when compared to their democratic neighbour of similar population.
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Old 30th November 2022, 04:29 AM   #402
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
How do you think ordinary people achieve contentment?

Poverty? Longevity?

China has taken 800,000,000 people out of poverty in just 40 years, and has increased its GDP from 400 billion to 28 trillion in just 30 years. They've also increased life expectancy from 60 to 77 in the past 50 years.

Feel free to suggest other things that denote success, because they look pretty damned successful to me, especially when compared to their democratic neighbour of similar population.
China have said they've done all these things, whether they've actually done them is a whole different matter entirely.
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Old 30th November 2022, 04:40 AM   #403
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
How do you think ordinary people achieve contentment?

Poverty? Longevity?

China has taken 800,000,000 people out of poverty in just 40 years, and has increased its GDP from 400 billion to 28 trillion in just 30 years. They've also increased life expectancy from 60 to 77 in the past 50 years.

Feel free to suggest other things that denote success, because they look pretty damned successful to me, especially when compared to their democratic neighbour of similar population.

This is true. They have been remarkably successful in a relatively short period of time.

Outside the major cities, of course, there is still blinding poverty, and a huge gap between rich and poor even in the cities, but that doesn't take away from the success.

The problem is of course that the CCP puts this down to "Socialism with Chinese Characteristics", when the truth is that the success only came about because it opened up, reformed and abandoned communism and socialism completely, becoming 100% capitalist.

Since Xi took over that is gone, they have a huge debt, housing and banking problem, a massively aging population pyramid that they have no hope of turning around as no one wants to emigrate to a totalitarian state, and declining investment as they turn inward and away from the world due to Xi's more aggressive and communist rhetoric and state control of industries and private companies.

And that was even before Zero covid.

So in short, I am not sure how long that success is actually going to last, but none the less up to 2010 or so it was a huge success.

Last edited by GraculusTheGreenBird; 30th November 2022 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 30th November 2022, 05:20 AM   #404
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"Success." Robbing Peter to pay Paul isn't success. Unless you're Paul.
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Old 30th November 2022, 05:59 AM   #405
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
"Success." Robbing Peter to pay Paul isn't success. Unless you're Paul.
If you are referring to the success pre 2010, that came from capitalism and opening up, like every other developing nation. How is that robbing Peter to pay Paul?

If you are referring to current situation, fair enough.
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Old 30th November 2022, 06:37 AM   #406
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
How do you think ordinary people achieve contentment?

Poverty? Longevity?

China has taken 800,000,000 people out of poverty in just 40 years, and has increased its GDP from 400 billion to 28 trillion in just 30 years. They've also increased life expectancy from 60 to 77 in the past 50 years.

Feel free to suggest other things that denote success, because they look pretty damned successful to me, especially when compared to their democratic neighbour of similar population.
The success of a collective doesn't always translate to individual contentment. McDonald's is a hugely successful company. Do you think most of its employees are content?
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Old 30th November 2022, 06:54 AM   #407
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The fact is there a huge number of Chinese that are not content, because the reforms that allowed so many of them to get rich are being rolled back.

Now, its harder and harder to afford to live, to buy a house, to move up in the world, to get promoted.

Just look at the growing "lying flat" and "let it rot" movement amongst the youth. They are essentially giving up, as they see it as not worth their while, they don't see any future. So they coast along, doing the bare minimum to stay alive, or live off their parents.

So with an aging population, a youth with no future, a banking crisis, a housing shortage, a construction industry that is hugely in debt and which the population are no longer willing to bail out, and China was already in trouble.

Now add zero covid on top of that, people being literally locked in their apartments for 90 days at a time, huge loss of jobs and business, 20% of the GDP producing areas right now in lockdown, and 2% of the GDP being the covid testing industry, it is no wonder the population are pissed off.

China had a huge success up until 2010, that is undeniable. But that is no longer applicable.
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Old 30th November 2022, 07:09 AM   #408
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The success of a collective doesn't always translate to individual contentment. McDonald's is a hugely successful company. Do you think most of its employees are content?
I've met a lot of those people who lives went from extreme poverty to varying degrees of comfort or affluence, and they certainly seem a lot better off now than they were 20 or 30 (let alone 40) years ago.
Things are going downhill now, but the major improvement's to wellbeing that began with Deng's reforms are amazing, and have influenced the lives of pretty much everyone in China.
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Old 30th November 2022, 07:55 AM   #409
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I've met a lot of those people who lives went from extreme poverty to varying degrees of comfort or affluence, and they certainly seem a lot better off now than they were 20 or 30 (let alone 40) years ago.
Things are going downhill now, but the major improvement's to wellbeing that began with Deng's reforms are amazing, and have influenced the lives of pretty much everyone in China.
The Uighurs might disagree. Nations are not grandmothers, one is allowed to demand "what have you done for me lately" and not be content with prior improvements from an even worse state. Fixing an abscessed tooth fifteen years ago doesn't get the dentist off the hook for botching a filling today.
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Old 30th November 2022, 08:52 AM   #410
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The Uighurs might disagree. Nations are not grandmothers, one is allowed to demand "what have you done for me lately" and not be content with prior improvements from an even worse state. Fixing an abscessed tooth fifteen years ago doesn't get the dentist off the hook for botching a filling today.
I'm no fan of the CCP. My view is that the growth that happened over the last 40 years could have happened earlier (to the good of everyone in China) if it weren't for Mao, etc.

You seemed to be denying the major improvements in the lives of people here in China over the last 40 years, and that's just crazy, but that doesn't mean I think the CCP should be given credit for that. At most they get the partial credit of discontinuing completely insane policy.
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Old 30th November 2022, 11:19 AM   #411
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
You seemed to be denying the major improvements in the lives of people here in China over the last 40 years
I never said that. I just said that such improvements are not the sole criteria for deeming a country successful, and depending on what criteria you do use to judge success they may not meet them.
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Old 30th November 2022, 11:31 AM   #412
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Originally Posted by Gulliver Foyle View Post
China have said they've done all these things, whether they've actually done them is a whole different matter entirely.


What a classic example of denying facts because you think it doesn't fit your narrative.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
The success of a collective doesn't always translate to individual contentment. McDonald's is a hugely successful company. Do you think most of its employees are content?
Absolutely.

The employment market is such right now that if they weren't at least moderately happy they'd leave and get another job.
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Old 30th November 2022, 12:05 PM   #413
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Meanwhile, the CCP has decided enough is enough, and I'd say we've probably seen the last of the protests: https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/3...hostile-forces

Quote:
Hundreds of SUVs, vans and armoured vehicles with flashing lights were parked along city streets Wednesday while police and paramilitary forces conducted random ID checks and searched people’s mobile phones for photos, banned apps or other potential evidence that they had taken part in the demonstrations.
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Old 30th November 2022, 07:44 PM   #414
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
If you like totaltarian governmen and a lack of indidivual rights and freedom.
I am so tired of how some on the left sitll try to whitewash the Xi regme and the CCP.
Please don't interpret an acknowledgement of the country's success as a nation as a statement of support or endorsement, or any indication of me "liking" anything about the current Chinese government. It's the one thing I have in common with the Falun Gong protesters that were hanging out outside my building last week - opposition to the Chinese Communist Party.
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Old 1st December 2022, 02:12 AM   #415
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Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
The fact is there a huge number of Chinese that are not content, because the reforms that allowed so many of them to get rich are being rolled back.

Now, its harder and harder to afford to live, to buy a house, to move up in the world, to get promoted.

Just look at the growing "lying flat" and "let it rot" movement amongst the youth. They are essentially giving up, as they see it as not worth their while, they don't see any future. So they coast along, doing the bare minimum to stay alive, or live off their parents.

So with an aging population, a youth with no future, a banking crisis, a housing shortage, a construction industry that is hugely in debt and which the population are no longer willing to bail out, and China was already in trouble.

Now add zero covid on top of that, people being literally locked in their apartments for 90 days at a time, huge loss of jobs and business, 20% of the GDP producing areas right now in lockdown, and 2% of the GDP being the covid testing industry, it is no wonder the population are pissed off.

China had a huge success up until 2010, that is undeniable. But that is no longer applicable.
Ignore covid and you could be describing the UK
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Old 1st December 2022, 03:26 AM   #416
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Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
The fact is there a huge number of Chinese that are not content, because the reforms that allowed so many of them to get rich are being rolled back.

Now, its harder and harder to afford to live, to buy a house, to move up in the world, to get promoted.

Just look at the growing "lying flat" and "let it rot" movement amongst the youth. They are essentially giving up, as they see it as not worth their while, they don't see any future. So they coast along, doing the bare minimum to stay alive, or live off their parents.

So with an aging population, a youth with no future, a banking crisis, a housing shortage, a construction industry that is hugely in debt and which the population are no longer willing to bail out, and China was already in trouble.

Now add zero covid on top of that, people being literally locked in their apartments for 90 days at a time, huge loss of jobs and business, 20% of the GDP producing areas right now in lockdown, and 2% of the GDP being the covid testing industry, it is no wonder the population are pissed off.

China had a huge success up until 2010, that is undeniable. But that is no longer applicable.
A problem with the dysfunctional housing mess not much discussed is ownership. All the construction companies built on land for which they had a maximum of 70 years lease, it is still owned by the state. They then sold on the buildings as if they had freehold. But the thing is the local authorities (all the way up to regional governments) have had their finances structured so that they need to reclaim the land and lease it out to developers again at increased rents. The first estates are coming up to the end of their freehold leases in a few years and either a lot of people are going to have their houses seized without compensation or a large chunk of the Chinese state apparatus is going to disappear.
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Old 1st December 2022, 07:27 AM   #417
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Ignore covid and you could be describing the UK
Apart from the aging population. Whilst the Uk like all developed economies has stopped having large numbers of children, this is is offset by the immigration of younger people who actually want to go there and raise a family and contribute to the economy.

China has had net emigration for as long as I can remember, there is no influx of immigrants to replace the aging catastrophe because no one want to move their, and there is absolutely nothing China can do about it unless they change government. Their population crisis is unfixable. The UKs is not.
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Old 1st December 2022, 07:51 AM   #418
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More and more it's looking like a lot of China's "success" has been predicated on them mortgaging their future and then not keeping up on the payments.

For example, it wasn't until 2017 that China finally figured out how to manufacture ball point pens. Sure, pretty much every commodity pen on the market was assembled in China. And most of the components could have been manufactured in China.

But prior to 2017, China was still importing the ball point nibs themselves.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...all-by-itself/

https://www.businessinsider.com/chin...nt-pens-2017-1

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-38566114

https://fortune.com/2017/01/10/china...s-steel-japan/
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Old 1st December 2022, 09:14 AM   #419
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
China is successful, and you don't think that's true, have a look at the current US/China investment balance, where China owns a trillion dollars of US bonds.
That's a sign of US strength, not weakness. Anyway, Japan actually owns more, with $1.2 trillion worth - remember when Japan was about to take over America in the 80s?

China bought all those US treasury bonds for the same reason everyone else does - they are considered a very safe bet with a guaranteed return.

China has undoubtedly had an "economic miracle" and lifted more people out of poverty (and hunger) than any time in history. It's massive economic growth is obvious to see: fields turned to cities, factories, power stations yada yada.

However there is quite a bit of scepticism about how close it's economy is to the USA's and that it might still be way off and possibly not be in a position to catch up. The cumulative effect of fiddling the GPD growth by even 1 point each year for 30 years could mean they are drastically over-reporting where they are now.
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Old 1st December 2022, 12:45 PM   #420
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Originally Posted by FatherLukeduke View Post
The cumulative effect of fiddling the GPD growth by even 1 point each year for 30 years could mean they are drastically over-reporting where they are now.
I have no doubt they've inflated the numbers, but the fact remains that you had two neighbouring countries of very similar size and population in 1970.

Wind forward 50 years and only an utter moron would deny China's made a lot more progress at lifting its people out of poverty than India.
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Meanwhile, the CCP looks like it's decided to relax the zero-covid policies a little, with a change to the idea of there being no covid to the plan of vaccinating the elderly before opening up.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/3...d-off-protests

The change has nothing to do with the protests, of course...
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Old 1st December 2022, 01:01 PM   #421
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India's a lot more open about what goes on within its borders than China is. Only an utter moron would believe for a second that the data being provided by the Chinese government is a rational basis for comparison with other countries.
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Old 1st December 2022, 04:23 PM   #422
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Only an utter moron would believe for a second that the data being provided by the Chinese government is a rational basis for comparison with other countries.
Correct. That's why I used independent data.
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Old 1st December 2022, 04:40 PM   #423
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Maybe the US trade deficit with China isn't really $300M a year - I mean, what would the office of the President of USA know?

Maybe all those trillions of dollars of goods China imports are fudged by the countries that export to them?

Maybe the idea that China and India exported exactly the same amount of goods in 1961, but China now exports five times more than India is made up by the CCP?

Utter morons all round, I guess.
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Old 1st December 2022, 09:45 PM   #424
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China has undoubtedly been successful over the last 30 years, and this has allowed it to improve the lives of it's citizens on a massive scale. People haven't resisted the lack of political freedom because for the most part their interests were still being served. I think this is coming to an end though and it doesn't have much to do with Covid policy.

China's success is much like US success in the 50's, but if China wants to take the next step and improve it's citizens lives again they need to pivot their economy in much the same way the US has since it's golden age of industrial production. Labor intensive production line work is, for the most part, always going to be low pay low productivity and that puts an upper limit on the quality of life those types of jobs can offer. To move beyond that level you need to start exporting the more manual less valuable manufacturing jobs to lower wage economies abroad. Then you can focus those resources on building a service economy and promoting your own consumer economy.

The US resisted and lamented this change while it was happening and some idiots still want to go back, but it didn't have a government form that could simply legislate it away. China is so intent on replicating what has worked for the last 30 years that it's refusing to move forward.

This is starting to prevent it from improving the lives of it's middle class, which has grown very large. There are still some people being lifted from poverty but they are now outnumbered by the stalled middle class. If recent reports that China has overestimated it's population by up to 200 million people, the stalled middle class now outnumbers the very poor by almost 3:1.

All this suggests that the number of people willing to tolerate lack of freedom in exchange for constant improvement in their day to day lives is rapidly changing. On the other side of the ledger the government has more and more to lose if it suppresses dissent to harshly. Cracking down too harshly would harm the economy the government has become dependent on (something their Covid policy does show us) reducing the governments power and increasing the agitation in the population.


All in all I think China is rapidly approaching an inflection point where something has to change. This could mean transforming it's economy and political system to something more like Japan or South Korea Or, it will start to see the gains it made start to unwind and possibly even enter a death spiral where economic collapse causes unrest and harsh crackdowns cause further collapse in a viscous cycle. I have no guess as to which one happens.
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Old 1st December 2022, 10:37 PM   #425
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the Protests are, for many Chinese, the first time that they will feel the physical force of the State Security Apparatus.
Many will be cowered into submission.
But everyone will grow more resentful.
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Old 4th December 2022, 02:08 AM   #426
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More restrictions eased, this time in Shanghai.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/int...-shift-expands

Looks like Xi has quietly admitted it's got to end. He won't admit a mistake, but the zero-covid policy will quietly fade away.
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Old 4th December 2022, 03:42 AM   #427
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
More restrictions eased, this time in Shanghai.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/int...-shift-expands

Looks like Xi has quietly admitted it's got to end. He won't admit a mistake, but the zero-covid policy will quietly fade away.
Yesterday's Economist reckons that relaxing restrictions will lead to a massive wave of infections and overwhelmed ICUs and deaths, unless China can manage to get the great majority of it's old fully vaccinated and massively increase the number of ICUs and antivirals in a vey short time.
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Old 4th December 2022, 03:52 AM   #428
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
More restrictions eased, this time in Shanghai.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/int...-shift-expands
And the reports from the ground are that what is being said is not what is happening, Shanghai is "said" to be easing up, but in fact more sub-regions are going into lockdown.

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
More restrictions eased, this time in Shanghai.
Looks like Xi has quietly admitted it's got to end. He won't admit a mistake, but the zero-covid policy will quietly fade away.
Unfortunately it cant just fade away, they don't have enough in place to do so. Their elderly population is still not vaccinated enough, their vaccines are 50% effective (if that) against Omicron, and their population has little built up immunity as it has been closed for so long. They refuse to license more effective rna vaccines like the Omicron specific Pfizer because its western and hence loss of face.

So, relaxing restrictions will lead to huge numbers of deaths and infections. Less than the rest of the world, as they have waited until Omicron, but probably hundreds of thousands.
So they can try to cover it up, as they usually do. But it will not be easy.

All their 3 years of restrictions have done is push everything 3 years down the road, they still have to go through what the rest of the world has gone through.

Their best bet is to crackdown as much as possible, try to balance protests with lockdowns, whilst having a big push for vaccination, but unless they use RNA, or make vaccines mandatory (which they have been strangely reluctant to do) its not going to work.
This will play out for a long time.
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Old 4th December 2022, 09:21 AM   #429
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I'd like to see this eventually lead to the collapse of the Chinese government, but that won't happen. If the **** hits the fan, Xi won't hesitate to kill and imprison thousands or even millions (hey, what's a million people out of 1.4 billion? a drop in the bucket), and if that doesn't work, he'll be purged or have an "accidental" death, and the new regime will blame everything on him personally.
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Old 5th December 2022, 01:57 AM   #430
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Yesterday's Economist reckons that relaxing restrictions will lead to a massive wave of infections and overwhelmed ICUs and deaths, unless China can manage to get the great majority of it's old fully vaccinated and massively increase the number of ICUs and antivirals in a vey short time.
Not buying it.

The Scrabble variants of omicron that form the vast majority of cases is ridiculously mild compared to delta and while there would be plenty of infections, I'd lay heavy odds on the death toll being very low.

Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
And the reports from the ground are that what is being said is not what is happening, Shanghai is "said" to be easing up, but in fact more sub-regions are going into lockdown.
Thanks - nice to have someone on the ground!

Originally Posted by GraculusTheGreenBird View Post
Their best bet is to crackdown as much as possible, try to balance protests with lockdowns, whilst having a big push for vaccination, but unless they use RNA, or make vaccines mandatory (which they have been strangely reluctant to do) its not going to work.
This will play out for a long time.
If it does they'll destroy their economy, so the balancing act will be interesting.
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Old 5th December 2022, 02:00 AM   #431
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The BBC is reporting that people are using Jiang Zemin's death as a way to criticise Xi.
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Old 5th December 2022, 04:13 AM   #432
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Thanks - nice to have someone on the ground!
We got a report yesterday that certain places that required getting covid tests within 48 hours won't require it anymore (public parks, subways, etc.) but a lot of places still do (restaurants for instance). We've been doing daily tests at my building lately (none today, though), and a friend of my had her building go into lockdown today, so it's definitely not over, but word is that things are supposed to be slowly easing off.
The government claims that everything will be opening up in March and the plan is to get ready for that in the meantime. Right now there's a strong push to get everyone over 80 vaccinated. We'll see, I guess.
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Old 5th December 2022, 05:21 AM   #433
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
We got a report yesterday that certain places that required getting covid tests within 48 hours won't require it anymore (public parks, subways, etc.) but a lot of places still do (restaurants for instance). We've been doing daily tests at my building lately (none today, though), and a friend of my had her building go into lockdown today, so it's definitely not over, but word is that things are supposed to be slowly easing off.
The government claims that everything will be opening up in March and the plan is to get ready for that in the meantime. Right now there's a strong push to get everyone over 80 vaccinated. We'll see, I guess.
This is definitely the right approach. Push push push for the elderly to get properly vaccinated.

Unfortunately there are still going to be a lot of deaths, purely due to the 1.4 billion population. There are a lot of over 80s with co-morbidities there.
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Old 5th December 2022, 11:33 AM   #434
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Sound-looking analysis by the Beeb on what's happening: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-63857194
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Old 5th December 2022, 11:50 AM   #435
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My wife communicates sometimes with a woman in Guangzhou who we have done business with. She had left Guangzhou a while back to be with her mother in hometown then could not leave because of road lockdown.

Now over, she is back in Guangzhou (Liwan district) and apparently moving about freely.
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Old 5th December 2022, 05:57 PM   #436
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The Pentagon's report on the Chinese military notes an expanding nuclear arsenal and a sophisticated integration strategy

Quote:
American scholar Tai Ming Cheung, a long-time observer of Chinese military developments, has described how "China's leaders see science, technology and innovation as essential ingredients in the pursuit of power, prosperity and prestige". This is especially the case, he said, in the military realm.

Because of advances in Chinese military capability, in 2000 the United States military was tasked in the National Defense Authorization Act to produce an annual report on "the current and future military strategy of the People's Republic of China". With evidence provided from government and open sources, over the past 22 years these have become one of the most important assessments of Chinese military developments.

Last week, the 2022 version of the report was released. Where it was covered in news media, the headlines were about the assessment that China intends to build its nuclear missile arsenal to 1,500 warheads by 2035, and the continued growth of the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).
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Old 5th December 2022, 07:19 PM   #437
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I am not at all surprised that the Pentagon has discovered that just as one of its two "near peer" adversaries is on the wane, the other is waxing prodigiously. One hopes that Congress will be able to allocate sufficient funds for the Pentagon's own commensurate growth in power and capability. And that all their partners in the military-industrial complex will get their fair share of the taxpayer's large but necessary sacrifice.
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Old 6th December 2022, 02:01 AM   #438
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I'd be interested in an update on how the silo fields are progressing.

https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2021...lds-discovered

I had a discussion the other day and a guy asked me how I thought the China/US would pan out.

My pick is around 2045 China will tell America it's taking back Taiwan and that they have 5000 nukes aimed at American targets if America tries to intervene.

At which stage America, faced with the choice of self-immolating over a small country 8000 km away, will back down.
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Old 6th December 2022, 07:13 PM   #439
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
My pick is around 2045 China will tell America it's taking back Taiwan and that they have 5000 nukes aimed at American targets if America tries to intervene.

At which stage America, faced with the choice of self-immolating over a small country 8000 km away, will back down.
That about agrees with Kevin Rudd's timetable.
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Old 6th December 2022, 08:09 PM   #440
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I'd be interested in an update on how the silo fields are progressing.

https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2021...lds-discovered

I had a discussion the other day and a guy asked me how I thought the China/US would pan out.

My pick is around 2045 China will tell America it's taking back Taiwan and that they have 5000 nukes aimed at American targets if America tries to intervene.

At which stage America, faced with the choice of self-immolating over a small country 8000 km away, will back down.
Come that day do you think you will prefer one side over the other?
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