The Two Scenarios Not Talked About China

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryWe hear about the possibility of an invasion of Taiwan. We hear about a possible naval battle between the forces of China and the United States. We hear about an attack on Japan’s outlying islands by China. We hear about an escalating border war between China and India. These things are possible. Yet there are two other things that are possible, and they involve the possible break-up of China. As it stands now, the top leadership of the Communist Party of China, and its paramount leader Xi Jinping, have such unimaginable control over the country that really nothing can be done without the Party and Xi. This in of itself can be a serious problem for China.

What happens if something happens to Xi? What if he suddenly dies, or is overthrown, or if the Chinese People’s Liberation Army decides to revolt? Impossible? Highly unlikely, but not impossible. It is assumed that no one would break the chain of command in such a tightly controlled military structure as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. But it is possible that some ambitious general might try some independent action that could lead to unintended consequences. What if a Chinese general decides it is a good time to attack Taiwan? This has been known to happen in China’s long history, and was one of the reasons for the change of imperial dynasties.

Another scary possibility is the collapse of China itself. With such stringent control at the top, infrastructural cracks might develop in the government at the local and regional level. What could this mean? Already there are economic problems developing in China as the people are making less money than five years ago. Worse, the whole Covid lock-downs had up-ended the lives of hundreds of millions of people in China. As I speak, millions of Chinese are now applying to leave the country. How many? We cannot even begin to guess. It is not hard to figure out why; the lock-downs have resulted in an unknown number of people losing their businesses, their jobs, and even loved ones. They have no reason to stay. And we must remember that at this point the Communist Party is still in firm control.

What happens if the Party is no longer in control? Keep in mind that the more centralized the power structure, the more likely it can break apart if this central control is gone. It will be unimaginable to see tens of millions of people flee China and go anywhere and everywhere in the world to seek refuge. It could become a refugee crisis unprecedented in human history. Back in the 1990’s, ships carrying Chinese migrants steamed towards America’s shores. A break-up of China would make it far, far worse. Countries in Asia would be inundated with Chinese refugees. I cannot even imagine seeing the faces and suffering of those who are fleeing their homeland trying desperate to live. But this is a scenario that could play out. The scenarios I speak of could happen because China is in fact an unstable country. It could commit an act of war, it could lose control of its armed forces, or the country could break apart and become a tragedy for the whole world. It would be horrid to think about the consequences if any of these scenarios transpire.

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