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Old 03-22-2020, 12:30 AM
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China's new place in the world after the pandemic is over


One way or another, China's position in the world won't be the same after this pandemic as it was before.

There will be blame and anger directed at China, for sure - after all, the virus did originate in Wuhan, and had the Chinese government acted a few weeks sooner, 95 percent of the coronavirus cases could have been prevented - but that will be mostly irrelevant - what is past is past.

But, practically speaking, China will not bear the brunt of Covid-19. The epidemic is already largely over within China itself. On the contrary, it will be Western nations like the USA and Italy that will emerged battered and hammered by this virus, with death tolls likely far surpassing China's. So China will emerge in a better and stronger position than America when this whole thing is over.

In addition, America will likely enter a severe recession or depression due to this virus, which will leave it all the weaker compared to China.

There will probably be a big push for decoupling the American economy from China's - a trend that was already happening during the Trump trade war with China, but will now be all the more so given that the world has seen the consequences of putting all its manufacturing eggs in one basket, China.
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:25 AM
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:46 AM
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One way or another, China's position in the world won't be the same after this pandemic as it was before.
Not bloody likely.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:32 AM
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COVID will disincorporate the centralized leadership. China will balkanize with regional warlords grabbing what they can. It's traditional.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:45 AM
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The chances of that happening in PRC are approximately the same as the balkanisation of the US i.e. Buckley’s.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:48 AM
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Thus far the Chinese Communist Party seem to have turned it to their advantage. They have claimed to contain the virus, kept Taiwan out of the World Health Organisation, lured Serbia into denouncing Europe and joining with China to "fight the virus", and they're going to weaken their rivals in the West.
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:58 AM
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The virus will shortly fall from significance. Belt and Road will last for decades.
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Old 03-22-2020, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
had the Chinese government acted a few weeks sooner, 95 percent of the coronavirus cases could have been prevented
Slight tangent; but while information was suppressed and more should have been earlier, it's also true that China took extreme measures pretty early on; measures that other countries even now can't contemplate.
So within the blame game, bear in mind we're not saying What if China handled this like we would in the West? because the situation would arguably be even worse than it is now.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
One way or another, China's position in the world won't be the same after this pandemic as it was before.

There will be blame and anger directed at China, for sure - after all, the virus did originate in Wuhan, and had the Chinese government acted a few weeks sooner, 95 percent of the coronavirus cases could have been prevented - but that will be mostly irrelevant - what is past is past.

But, practically speaking, China will not bear the brunt of Covid-19. The epidemic is already largely over within China itself. On the contrary, it will be Western nations like the USA and Italy that will emerged battered and hammered by this virus, with death tolls likely far surpassing China's. So China will emerge in a better and stronger position than America when this whole thing is over.

In addition, America will likely enter a severe recession or depression due to this virus, which will leave it all the weaker compared to China.

There will probably be a big push for decoupling the American economy from China's - a trend that was already happening during the Trump trade war with China, but will now be all the more so given that the world has seen the consequences of putting all its manufacturing eggs in one basket, China.
"The epidemic is already largely over within China itself."
So they say, and I find it not believable.

What I find likely is that the CCP will claim that, therefore it must be true, whether it reflects reality or not. The consequence is that information about the presence of the virus among the population will be suppressed (does this begin to sound familiar) setting up the stage for future outbreaks of SARS 2, at least until a vaccine is developed.

As for the future, their propaganda efforts are clear, wanting to portray China and it's political system as superior to Western systems; whether they'll get away with doing that or not is to be seen, but from the discussions I've had here in the past few days the prognosis is grim.
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Old 03-22-2020, 08:32 AM
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"The epidemic is already largely over within China itself."
So they say, and I find it not believable.

What I find likely is that the CCP will claim that, therefore it must be true, whether it reflects reality or not.
I'm a Brit living in China, and I have a job that involves meeting managers and doctors at various hospitals and health clinics.
And IMO, either the official counts are broadly accurate, or China is now large-scale deploying the best holographic projector technology seen outside of scooby doo.

As for "they say it, therefore it must be true", I've seen a lot of the opposite phenomenon recently. That to many people China is the guard of the door to Hades who must always tell a lie.
Recall a couple of weeks ago the rumor on sites like this was that people were walking along the street and collapsing and dying on the spot. Have those people now realized that just maybe not every CT about China or this virus is accurate? Or are they still holding out for evidence that this has happened even once (a widely shared video was debunked as being from a traffic accident)?
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:32 AM
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I'm a Brit living in China, and I have a job that involves meeting managers and doctors at various hospitals and health clinics.
And IMO, either the official counts are broadly accurate, or China is now large-scale deploying the best holographic projector technology seen outside of scooby doo.

As for "they say it, therefore it must be true", I've seen a lot of the opposite phenomenon recently. That to many people China is the guard of the door to Hades who must always tell a lie.
Recall a couple of weeks ago the rumor on sites like this was that people were walking along the street and collapsing and dying on the spot. Have those people now realized that just maybe not every CT about China or this virus is accurate? Or are they still holding out for evidence that this has happened even once (a widely shared video was debunked as being from a traffic accident)?
I don't know what projectors have to do with anything, here in Thailand while the number of cases of CoViD19 stayed suspiciously low for a long time that was matched with a concurrently suspicious high number of nondescript pneumonia cases, you see what I mean?

For what is worth I never believed those videos to be anything more than the usual result of the Social Media Telephone Game (amplified by a general panic) where what reaches the viral stage has long since replaced actual fact with baseless speculation.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
One way or another, China's position in the world won't be the same after this pandemic as it was before.

There will be blame and anger directed at China, for sure - after all, the virus did originate in Wuhan, and had the Chinese government acted a few weeks sooner, 95 percent of the coronavirus cases could have been prevented - but that will be mostly irrelevant - what is past is past.

But, practically speaking, China will not bear the brunt of Covid-19. The epidemic is already largely over within China itself. On the contrary, it will be Western nations like the USA and Italy that will emerged battered and hammered by this virus, with death tolls likely far surpassing China's. So China will emerge in a better and stronger position than America when this whole thing is over.

In addition, America will likely enter a severe recession or depression due to this virus, which will leave it all the weaker compared to China.

There will probably be a big push for decoupling the American economy from China's - a trend that was already happening during the Trump trade war with China, but will now be all the more so given that the world has seen the consequences of putting all its manufacturing eggs in one basket, China.
Something I think you are overlooking is the possibility of a second outbreak in China. The CCP is now in the mode of sending people back to work asap, and the potential for a second outbreak is not that far fetched. Quite to the contrary, it's probable. And, unless you think that THIS time things will be different (i.e. this time the CCP won't suppress news and people trying to warn of it...), it could be as bad or even worse in China than the first one.

My WAG is that countries are going to wake up at some point about, at a minimum, being so reliant on China for goods and services, especially medical supplies. I hope the US, at least, has learned this lesson, though I'm not exactly sanguine about that seeing the reaction of many people to this whole mess.

If the US does enter a sever recession over this, that's going to impact the entire world, China included, so if you were thinking that the US going down would somehow free China and make it the great power folks seem to long for, I'm not seeing it. China's economy is crippled pretty badly right now...it's why from Xi on down the CCP is encouraging (in the CCP sense of the word) people to get back to work, you lazy bastards!

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Originally Posted by Mijin
Slight tangent; but while information was suppressed and more should have been earlier, it's also true that China took extreme measures pretty early on; measures that other countries even now can't contemplate.
So within the blame game, bear in mind we're not saying What if China handled this like we would in the West? because the situation would arguably be even worse than it is now.
So, the CCP fucked up and caused this, and after they were no longer able to cover it up they went full draconian mode for a bit, the damage having been done? Well, good for them! That's just great!

What if China handled this like the west? You mean being open and straightforward and not trying to cover it up and arrest people trying to talk about it? Hm...I'm not sure. I'm thinking it would be less of a cluster fuck. Oh, you mean how the west is handling it AFTER it became a world wide cluster fuck that is out of control?
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:26 PM
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I don't know what projectors have to do with anything, here in Thailand while the number of cases of CoViD19 stayed suspiciously low for a long time that was matched with a concurrently suspicious high number of nondescript pneumonia cases, you see what I mean?
It was just a joke.
But in terms of your personal experience, I believe you. Do you believe mine?
Life is gradually getting back to normal here in China and since bars, restaurants, museums etc have reopened many people are just waiting for schools and factories to follow suit (alas, I think the level of confidence to do this is still a ways off, but it's certainly the trajectory we're following).
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Old 03-22-2020, 01:41 PM
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So, the CCP fucked up and caused this, and after they were no longer able to cover it up they went full draconian mode for a bit, the damage having been done? Well, good for them! That's just great!
Firstly, interesting wording of caused. Did the US cause 2009 H1N1? Is the US culpable in any way for how dramatically the virus proliferated within the US?

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What if China handled this like the west? You mean being open and straightforward and not trying to cover it up and arrest people trying to talk about it? Hm...I'm not sure. I'm thinking it would be less of a cluster fuck.
I disagree. Being open from day 1 would definitely have saved lives (although I think some of those timelines where people are implying that China knew all there was to know with certainty from day 1, and the cover up was 100% bloody-mindedness, are fanciful), but had this virus started in the West there would have been more open information...as it spread from country to country.
There is just no way the kind of lockdown that happened in Hubei and in other Chinese cities (to a lesser extent) would have been possible in the West. Especially not prior to the shit hitting the fan.
No-one has lived through that degree of suppression of personal freedom...it has had to spread and be a huge threat for governments to take it seriously.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:00 PM
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The virus will shortly fall from significance. Belt and Road will last for decades.
If anything, China will use the global recession to intensify their acquisition of strategic ports and resources to strengthen the Belt and Roads Initiative. Internal impacts aside, we should be very concerned about how this positions China to further entrench their status as the economic and military superpower and the Eurasian/Micronesian/African sphere.

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Old 03-22-2020, 02:23 PM
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It was just a joke.
But in terms of your personal experience, I believe you. Do you believe mine?
Life is gradually getting back to normal here in China and since bars, restaurants, museums etc have reopened many people are just waiting for schools and factories to follow suit (alas, I think the level of confidence to do this is still a ways off, but it's certainly the trajectory we're following).
I don't doubt that, but I don't see from where you draw confidence that the Chinese government won't do the same thing it did before in terms of blocking information.

I'm checking right now and the official number of infections in China has been 81.054 people, out of a population of 1.3 Billion, that represents 0.006% of the population, let's assume the official figures are correct, let's over the next few months 0.006% of the population in your area stay home because they caught something that feels like a bad flu, would you notice the difference on the number of people on the streets, even if the number was 10, 100 times larger? 20% for serious cases is 0.001% percent of the population, a 5% death rate is 0.0003%.
Numbers look more manageable then, no?

I think the Availability Heuristic is doing a number in people's heads regarding this situation. Thousands of deaths are nothing to sneeze at, but in the overall scale of things it's not the catastrophe that is made out to be even going by the worst predictions of millions of deaths world wide.
However, the issue is not one of numbers necessarily, or of hard nosed pragmatism, in the grand scheme of things, those would shrug the whole thing off with a meh (and frankly that's they way I'd prefer it); but the perception of reality, people's expectations and how those are used and manipulated will have a much bigger impact for the future than what the physical effects of the disease will, IMO at least.

It's like when a couple is teetering on the edge of each other's nerves, one little, really inconsequential thing causes a minor irritation and watch the fur fly.
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Old 03-22-2020, 02:25 PM
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Firstly, interesting wording of caused. Did the US cause 2009 H1N1? Is the US culpable in any way for how dramatically the virus proliferated within the US?
I've already addressed this gambit you made in another thread, but I'll do so again. The H1N1 outbreak in the US wasn't similar wrt culpability from the government. The US didn't try and cover it up, they didn't arrest and detain those trying to get the word out, they didn't deceive either their own population or international agencies as to the severity or level of the danger. In short, there isn't any comparison. The CCP absolutely caused this cluster fuck. They knew about this in December (the first cases were actually in November, but benefit of the doubt and all) and sat on it, handwaved it, covered it up and generally tried to wish it away until late January. By then, it had not only gotten out to spread throughout China but throughout the world. All because they lied and tried to cover it up.

So, are we done with this silly line of discussion and can move on now or will you bring this up again? My guess is this won't be the last time.

Quote:
I disagree. Being open from day 1 would definitely have saved lives (although I think some of those timelines where people are implying that China knew all there was to know with certainty from day 1, and the cover up was 100% bloody-mindedness, are fanciful), but had this virus started in the West there would have been more open information...as it spread from country to country.
There is just no way the kind of lockdown that happened in Hubei and in other Chinese cities (to a lesser extent) would have been possible in the West. Especially not prior to the shit hitting the fan.
No-one has lived through that degree of suppression of personal freedom...it has had to spread and be a huge threat for governments to take it seriously.
No. The affected country would have dealt with this when it could be contained. If, say, this had started in the US, you'd have seen a response in December. Even with our fuck up of a president, there would have been a response. The reason this thing is hitting so hard in western countries is because it's hitting them from all over, not from one initial hot spot. You know, like in China. Even if it had breached containment, something I'm not convinced it would have done in any western nation, it wouldn't have been covered up on the international scene. Countries could and would have been better prepared. Remember...this thing started in November. It was allowed to build up through December and through most of January. The international community didn't really start to see what was going on until the CCP finally let this out of the bag and went all draconian dictatorship on it's people. By then, this thing had something like 6 weeks or more to spread throughout China and, by extension, throughout the world. Pretty much to every place Chinese people travel too (plus, China is a destination as well, so you always have a lot of tourists, people working in China from various countries, etc.).

The thing is, while many haven't been paying attention to this and seem to not really have followed along, I'm not one of them. Not only do I have family (my son's partner is from China, and he still has family there) there, which is why my interest is so keen, but I've been keeping up with the shifting narrative since early January. I know that the CCP is doing everything it can (and man, can it do a lot) to change the narrative on this, and that they have plenty of folks in the west convinced they are the heroes. I'm not one of those. I know EXACTLY who is at fault at the core of this cluster fuck. The US certainly has fucked up as well and the current administration has plenty to answer for, but the ultimate cause of this crisis is the CCP. End of story.
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Old 03-22-2020, 03:10 PM
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China will use the global recession to intensify their acquisition of strategic ports and resources to strengthen the Belt and Roads Initiative.We should be very concerned
This is absolutely the only answer to the OP.
All the talk and fantasy-- blaming China for the virus, then pretending that the west will "push for decoupling the American economy from China" ---is simply irrelevant:

America is heading for a 1927 style Depression, and China is not.
Chinese political and military power will outpace America for the next 50 years.

America has one advantage: the English language, which will still be a major cultural influence within other countries. The Chinese language will always be impossible to learn.

So other countries will follow America's lead only when watching Hollywood movies,while the Chinese will control everything else.

The big question is what will happen when a Chinese company (i.e. government agency) buys 51 % of Google on the stock market. The West will sell itself into submission.

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Old 03-22-2020, 07:12 PM
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China's new place in the world may be somewhat diminished as supply chains diversify away from sole reliance on China. This was already happening, as China has been facing competition from its neighbours.

As China's income rises and its people earn more money, it's losing its comparative advantage in cheap labor. People are also waking up to the immense amount of IP theft China has engaged in. It was tolerated for a long time because China was a third world country and not seen as an economic threat, but as a source of cheap labour. That is changing, and China will have to compete more and more against first world countries where those countries are strong. I don't think a Communist country can manage that, So either China will have to change, or it will face increasing pressure on its economy.
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Old 03-22-2020, 07:47 PM
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China is only notionally Communist; they've pretty much transitioned to a full on market-driven capitalist economy, albeit one rife with corruption and governed by an authoritarian regime with little information transparency. China is well aware that it's position as the purveyor of low-cost goods is in transition, and in fact they've been very busy building up a strong technological base which is why your cell phone, tablet, computer, and monitor are all mostly or completely manufactured in China. Hopefully this will be a wakeup call for the United States and Europe to diversify their supply chains and move at least some critical manufacturing to domestic sites (though I doubt we're going to be willing to bear the ecological costs of extracting the quantities of rare earth metals need to manufacture the necessary components), but China has been anticipating this, too, hence the Belt & Roads initiative in which China has 'financed' the construction of ports for the distribution of their goods in the same way that shady for-profit colleges offer financial aid to students, e.g. to trap them in a cycle of indebtedness ensuring that they will be beholden to China for the foreseeable future.

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Old 03-22-2020, 09:57 PM
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Folks, up until 2 weeks ago I worked for one of the largest manufacturers on the planet that produces a gazillion products including about half the iPhones and iPads on the planet. A taiwan company with peak seasonal employees of 1.5 million at dozens of giant factory campuses in China.

1. Implemented SARS era temperature checking of every person going in and out of every factory before Chinese New Year
2. Up until I left, only had a handful of infections. Including a good friend of mine, who was in a Chinese ICU and is now back working from home.
3. There is a serious lockdown of the factory complexes. Many are located in Special Economic Zones, which means many manufacturers have factories in the same zone
4. local governments can exceed the national guidelines for returning employees
5. Example of one factory.
a) Had to apply with the ID, travel history, medical history, etc for returning factory employees from outside of the immediate area
b) All returning employees had to quarantine outside of the factory for 14 days
c) were allowed 3 sets of 30 employees to enter quarantine in batches spaced 5 -10 days apart
d) the factory needs triple that number of employees
once back in the factory complex and staying in the factory dormitories then
- temperature checked multiple times per day including beginning and end of shift
- very segregated work areas and no co-mingling
- entire shift went together to the cafeteria and bathrooms with temperature checks
- if an employee has a temperature, must notify the Chinese CDC within two hours. That employee is taken off site for medical evaluation, treatment and/or quarantine off site
- entire shift goes into quarantine in a segregated dorm
- entire production area has to be cleaned, tested and approved to restart. Requires government approval

There's more but you get the gist.

Would appreciate folks on this board fighting ignorance and use the "Chinese government" . I see the demonizing that is going with "CCP" and calling it the "Chinese Virus". Christ, up until a month ago, I would bet that very few Americans could have told you what CCP stood for. Mao has been dead for decades and the economy is unrecognizable from that time. If you feel you must call it out, then please use Chinese Communist Party (vs CCP as a demonizing term).

1. The Chinese government is not a monolithic entity that says jump and 1.5 billion Chinese jump
2. China has a federal system between the provinces and the provincial level municipalities like Shanghai
3. The CCP is certainly dominant in the government but members only make up 6.1% of the total population. https://www.statista.com/topics/1247...mmunist-party/
4. While the Chinese propaganda machine is more finely tuned than most places, it is simply fanciful to think that Xi Jinping approved every tweet sent by a Chinese Communist Party government official, or is aware of every little thing he gets blamed for in a country almost the size of the US with 4 times the population. Just like Trump isn't responsible for some ignorant hotel clerk that refused to let Asian American's check in because they were afraid of getting Covid-19.

Caveat: ain't no love lost between me and the Chinese Communist Party. They have negatively impacted me and my family in ways you will never understand. That said, I don't hate cops 'cause I was hassled for having a punk haircut back when I had hair.

Back to the OP, I have said this earlier. This is peak China or the pinnacle of China Inc. It's kinda like Japan Inc in 1989. The Trump trade war was a black swan incident, and most companies at least started to plan for reducing China exposure. Which isn't easy. You can move to Vietnam but where do your parts come from? You can't build an iPad with 99% of the parts. And Vietnam only has 100 million population, so an available workforce near the factories on the northern border with China is maybe 10 million.

Moving the supply chain to China took place over 30 years. It's going to take at least a decade to move much of it out. And remember you need 100% of your parts in order to build most products.

It depends on the company. Some have said "don't care what it costs, move it out." Others have a 2 year wish list and not done squat except "plan". I've seen this with multiple Global 100 companies.

Both Sam and Stranger are highlighting that China is already getting priced out of the commodity market and trying to go up the value chain. In addition, I expect that what will happen is
1. Drive toward automation. Once you automate, then the labor % goes way down and you can move the production line anywhere. But this requires changing how products have been developed for decades, investment in automation, and is really only practical for high volume/limited SKU products. Again, the iPad is a good example
2. Will continue to develop and do the manufacturing in China, with a secondary location that uses CKD's
3. Slowly shift work loads to different locations. It starts with final assembly, then start backing out the stack. For example, SMT/PCBA lines, plastic mechanical parts, shift to environmentally friendly finishing since most countries won't allow the kind of dirty manufacturing that goes on in China.
4. Prices will go up
5. WalMart shoppers will need to dig deep and pay $50 more for a TV
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Old 03-22-2020, 10:47 PM
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I've already addressed this gambit you made in another thread, but I'll do so again. The H1N1 outbreak in the US wasn't similar wrt culpability from the government. The US didn't try and cover it up, they didn't arrest and detain those trying to get the word out, they didn't deceive either their own population or international agencies as to the severity or level of the danger. In short, there isn't any comparison. The CCP absolutely caused this cluster fuck. They knew about this in December (the first cases were actually in November, but benefit of the doubt and all) and sat on it, handwaved it, covered it up and generally tried to wish it away until late January. By then, it had not only gotten out to spread throughout China but throughout the world. All because they lied and tried to cover it up.

So, are we done with this silly line of discussion and can move on now or will you bring this up again? My guess is this won't be the last time.
Of course it's not the last time because your answer doesn't address what I said at all.

I said that the US response would be more open about the outbreak, but in terms of managing to contain it, it would be a clusterfuck like H1N1 was.
Your response is (paraphrasing) "No, it would be different because the US would be open about the outbreak".

You agreed with my premise and then ignored the rest of what I said.

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If, say, this had started in the US, you'd have seen a response in December. Even with our fuck up of a president, there would have been a response.
Really?
Well let's look at what the actual response has been as a guide.
The US doesn't have a pandemic response team; it was disbanded under Trump and still has not be reinstalled. Instead we have Pence.
The US is at the bottom of the industrialized world in terms of Covid tests per 100,000 people. Americans were quarantined on a cruise ship, *after* we had seen what a mess that can become, because Trump wanted to keep the numbers low.
There's been crazy amounts of misinformation e.g. the google project and baseless reassurance statements aimed at just keeping the press positive.
And there are reports that experts still cannot candidly advise the government because of Trump's feelings.

And after all this, you're making the claim that if the US had been the first responder -- that if the US had seen this disease before anyone knew how serious it was -- the response would have somehow been much, much more robust, coordinated and funded.
It's a ridiculous assertion.

Also, I know that I mentioned Trump a lot just now, and someone could say "Well, if it weren't for Trump..." and they might be right. But nonetheless, he is the president and there is no doubt that the fuckup we've seen in the US would have been orders of magnitude worse if the US did not have the luxury of time thanks to the virus starting on the opposite side of the world.

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The reason this thing is hitting so hard in western countries is because it's hitting them from all over, not from one initial hot spot. You know, like in China.
Nope; in China it started from an initial hot spot but now the new cases are hitting all over as borders are still open. China just happens to be doing much better than the US in terms of testing and containing cases that are coming in.

Last edited by Mijin; 03-22-2020 at 10:50 PM.
  #23  
Old 03-22-2020, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post
If anything, China will use the global recession to intensify their acquisition of strategic ports and resources to strengthen the Belt and Roads Initiative. Internal impacts aside, we should be very concerned about how this positions China to further entrench their status as the economic and military superpower and the Eurasian/Micronesian/African sphere
It is my belief that countries like Argentina and others that are too far away to invade, will nationalize the Belt and Road deals. Most of the one's I've looked at stink to high heaven of corruption, bribes, crazily optimistic projections, etc. At some point, Sri Lanka and others will nationalize the port and the other Chinese investments.

Of course, the US will need to be strong and lead a global alliance against such economic colonization. We have to get our shit together on so many levels.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:00 PM
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Remember...this thing started in November. It was allowed to build up through December and through most of January.
[...]
I've been keeping up with the shifting narrative since early January.
I forgot to reply about this timeline, which seems to get stretched every time.

On 17th November was a case of pneumonia that retrospectively was tested and found to have been covid. There is no evidence that anyone knew it was more than just a one-off case; it great you have such faith in Chinese science but no country immediately knows a single case is actually the first of a communicable viral disease.

The rest of the key events all happened in December. The gap between the epidemiologists being silenced and the WHO being informed was 10 days. That's a shameful 10 days, and I hope we see convictions, but let's not keep inflating it over and over and start throwing round "months of delays".

And of course by the time you were following this, it was already headline news across the world.
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:17 PM
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I'm checking right now and the official number of infections in China has been 81.054 people, out of a population of 1.3 Billion, that represents 0.006% of the population, let's assume the official figures are correct, let's over the next few months 0.006% of the population in your area stay home because they caught something that feels like a bad flu, would you notice the difference on the number of people on the streets, even if the number was 10, 100 times larger?
Well I'm not saying "There are so many people on the streets, it looks like a full headcount to me". I'm saying the relaxation of all these restrictions implies that the reports that community spread is over is probably largely accurate. Otherwise the policy is absolutely bizarre and there is not even a feasible motive.

However, I will concede that's is possible that within Hubei the number of dead could be higher than official reports. I just balk at the assertion that it *must be* higher.
Meanwhile I believe the official figures about places like Shanghai, because it's very hard, even for the Chinese government to keep deaths secret. An ambulance coming to a lane house is something seen by thousands of people.
One could argue "well, they've suppressed tiananmen" but one difference here is information on specific deaths is being widely shared on social media including the government's own media. So if I see an ambulance on my street how do I even know I'm not supposed to share information about it?
  #26  
Old 03-22-2020, 11:21 PM
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It is my belief that countries like Argentina and others that are too far away to invade, will nationalize the Belt and Road deals. Most of the one's I've looked at stink to high heaven of corruption, bribes, crazily optimistic projections, etc. At some point, Sri Lanka and others will nationalize the port and the other Chinese investments.

Of course, the US will need to be strong and lead a global alliance against such economic colonization. We have to get our shit together on so many levels.
Maybe; China is clearly doing its level best to get the B&R nations hooked on Chinese goods and services to the extent that they are unwilling to resist, and as I'm sure you are aware this isn't some off the cuff effort but part of a long term plan with its roots back into the post-Cold War era. You are correct that the US should be leading a global alliance against this infiltration, but we are so focused on the supposed threat of Islamic terrorism and have been busy invading and drone-fighting in one nation after another that we hardly seem to be paying attention to the economic warfare that is causing China to be the dominant over the half of the globe that is in sunlight while we sleep. Still, this could all backfire on China and leave them holding worthless valet tickets, but then, that's why they are building up the world's second largest naval force complete with attack submarines and aircraft carriers so they can project force around their sphere of interest.

Meanwhile, the US is spending extraordinary levels of money on high tech development programs while all of the military branches and especially the USN has historical levels of understaffing and inadequate training. "We have to get our shit together on so many levels," is putting it mildly; we are unprepared for the kinds of conflicts that are coming in the next few decades despite repeated warnings of capability studies and and former military officials.

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  #27  
Old 03-24-2020, 03:23 AM
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Early in the days of the pandemic, there were broad calls for "this is why we need decoupling" that didn't even make much sense back then but make even less sense right now. If America had made all of America's masks, then Americans would be running out of masks right as all the factories are shutting down due to lockdown. Because China makes America's masks, America can start buying masks from the now restarted China.

There will be decoupling but it'll be driven from the opposite direction. Prior to this, there were broadly two strains of thought in Chinese culture: "China should be a part of the global world order and work in cooperation with a committee of peers" and "The existing dominant powers will never trust China and will look for any opportunity to handicap us and we should develop independence and self-reliance".

Right now, Chinese citizens have been staring collectively in horror for months as the Western world has been simultaneously cavalierly ignoring China's advice while at the same time spitting venom and demonizing China for every single mistake their leaders have made. They're seeing the images of partying on the beaches of Florida, they're seeing British leaders stand up and say the words "herd immunity" with a straight face, they're seeing the images of Trump's speeches with the word Coronavirus crossed out and replaced with "Chinese virus".

Any residual goodwill of the West as a more advanced place that China still has many things to learn from is being replaced by the very real images of rank incompetence and a serious disillusionment with Western Liberal Democracy if this is what it leads to. Why should the Chinese send their kids to American universities if Harvard can kick students out on a whim and not even bother to help them find housing? Why should the Chinese buy Teslas when Elon Musk has been tweeting for months that Coronavirus panic is "dumb" and kept workers working even after the state government tried to stop him? Why would they travel through a US airport when Beijing airport looked like this and Chicago O'Hare looked like this on the same day?

People are only talking about this from the US perspective but people in China are also having these debates and they're looking at the world very differently.
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