Science And Technology Of The Near-ish Future

Re: Science And Technology Of The Near-ish Future

Postby Tyyr » Thu Jan 06, 2011 4:25 pm

Yes, essentially all you've pointed out that odd things can happen, but none of them speak towards the Chinese situation. The lend no support to the argument aside from the lame, "Well, stranger things have happened." If you're going to argue that the second largest (or is it 3rd?) economy in the world is about to collapse into irrelevancy in a decade you need a better argument than weird things can happen.

A lot of people might have believed Europe was too intertwined to go to war but they would have been idiots. Europe has been going to war with one another for millenia. Even back when "War wouldn't happen," they were all building up armies, forming alliances, and glaring at one another across their borders. Anyone who thought war wasn't possible was obviously very, very high.

Yes, the UK lost its grip on its colonies but it didn't happen in a decade. The UK losing it's grip on its colonial empire had been going on for a solid century. It wasn't like things just went away in the blink of an eye. It was a long ongoing process. A long slow decline doesn't really apply to a situation where someone is in a meteoric rise and you're predicting total collapse in a decade.

There weren't a few people claiming Versailles was a bad idea, people actively involved in the treaty thought it was a bad idea. There were plenty of people thinking it was a bad idea. The Russian revolution wasn't scaring the rest of the world to the point where Germany was ignored. Hell, by that reasoning a strong Germany would have served as a buffer to the rest of Europe if Russia got antsy. Versailles was purely about the French trying to screw the Germans.

Germany was the geopolitical center of the world at the time and it stayed that way until WWII. The problem with the analogy is that WWII was a major shift in how things worked. There's no prediction that we're going to see a huge shift in how things work WWII style to bring China to its knees. Just the prediction that the course they're on is going to ruin them in short order. Also, people weren't assuming that Germany would forever and always be the geopolitical center of the world. People knew that a war was coming. Hell, the period of time when Germany controlled Eastern Europe, most of France, and was still friends with Russia was measured in months and at that time you had Lend-Lease rolling and American's going to Europe to fight the Nazi's specifically because the government wasn't getting into it.

As for Japan, again, look at your time frame. 50's to the 80's. That's 30 years, and people paying attention in the 60's and 70's would have seen Japan's economy making huge strides. It's a long steady trend. What's being proposed in China's position is that the long steady trend is not only going to come to a screeching halt but it's going to completely double back on itself.

You're doing better with the German and USSR analogies in 1980 but again there were serious issues with the USSR that were well known, namely that a command economy like theirs isn't stable and their rampant military spending was choking them. Reagan's defense spending of the 80's wasn't done to win a war with the USSR, it was done to give the USSR a choice. They could either back down and try to salvage their economy or they could keep trying to keep up and wreck it. They chose the later and the inevitable happened. You still have a huge problem. The Chinese aren't spending themselves into a hole for their military, they've loosened the control of their economy enough that it's self-sustaining and not only being propped up by the threat of violence, and in the end the Chinese are communist in name only. The Chinese regime has shown itself to be imminently capable of adapting and keeping itself in power.

It's not just my "feeling" that the Chinese are on the rise and the US isn't keeping up, it's the reality of the situation. All the data and metrics of the last two decades have had China closing the gap and making huge strides. Even if their economy is awash in bad debt they still have their trump card, at the end of the day the guys in charge have the ability to say do this and it happens and they have the balls to stick by it. Our economy got into trouble because we had short sighted idiots sharing power and bickering over things. They've got a dictatorial style that will let them enact swift and broad changes to deal with a crisis.

If the claim was being made that the Chinese economy was going to slow or they'd be facing some rough transition times ahead it would be far easier to take seriously than claims the Chinese economy is going to collapse and the country Balkanize in the next decade making them irrelevant.
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Re: Science And Technology Of The Near-ish Future

Postby colmquinn » Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:26 pm

Story i read toady while checking out my wikileaks fix on the guardian, Chinese man trying to buy English decommissioned aircraft carrier
Gutted, defanged and now up for sale, HMS Invincible may soon be towed to China and berthed near a "lovers' promenade" in waters the Royal Navy dominated during the opium war.

A UK-based Chinese businessman, Lam Kin-bong, has bid £5m for the decommissioned aircraft carrier, which he wants to turn into a floating international school in a new marina on the coast of Guangdong province.

If the bid – first reported in the South China Morning Post — is successful, the voyage east of the 17,000 tonnes of scrap warship would be one of the most dramatic symbols yet of the shift in economic and military power from west to east.

For Britain and China, the differing fortunes are increasingly stark. In its recent spending review, the UK government slashed the defence budget and announced the navy would be without an aircraft carrier capable of carrying jets for around a decade. The Ark Royal will be decommissioned this month.

China, by contrast, has been increasing military spending at a double-digit pace for more than a decade and is believed to be building its first aircraft carrier, with plans for at least four more over the next 20 years.

Even the US is concerned. Reports earlier this week suggest China is close to test-flying a new stealth fighter jet and has operational capability with a "carrier killer" anti-ship ballistic missile.

The fate of the Invincible is likely to be symbolic rather than strategic. The light aircraft carrier was decommissioned in 2005, after 28 years of active service, including action during conflicts in Iraq, Yugoslavia and the Falklands. Now stripped of its engines, armaments and technology, the 500-metre-long hull was put up for auction last month by the Disposal Services Agency.

Its proposed new home is in Zhuhai, part of a province formerly known as Canton that was the beachhead for British opium dealers after the trade was forced on China by the Royal Navy.

Several bids were reportedly made before the deadline on 5 January. The Ministry of Defence has yet to respond to requests for details of rival offers.

The £5m bid by Lam – made through his company Sunway Yacht Ltd, which is based in his birthplace, Zhuhai, Guangdong province – is considerably higher than the £2m that had been expected. Towing the vessel to the other side of the world and refurbishing it as a school is likely to cost another £6m.

Whether the deal is approved is another matter, given the European Union's arms embargo against China, and Beijing's past use of second-hand carriers.

In 1998, a Hong Kong firm won a Ukrainian navy auction for the old Soviet carrier Varyag, claiming that it would be used as a floating casino off Macau. Instead, it is being upgraded at China's Dalian naval shipyard, fitted with combat sensors and defensive weapons, and painted in the colours of the People's Liberation Army. Military analysts say it is likely to go back into service.

It would be harder to use the Invincible in the same way as it has been more thoroughly stripped. China has bought two other Soviet carriers – the Minsk and the Kiev – which are merely attractions.

Lam, who moved to London nearly 20 years ago and has since set up the the Wing Wah chain of restaurants in Birmingham, said suspicions were unfounded.

"My intentions are purely commercial and have nothing to do with the military. We are building a marina in Zhuhai and if my bid is successful our first option is to berth the carrier there and convert it into an international school to help foster communication and cultural ties between China and Britain," he told the South China Morning Post.

If permission to tow the vessel to China is withheld, Lam said he would dock it in Liverpool and turn it into a school "to boost the understanding of China and the Chinese in Britain". He said he had the support of the Chinese embassy in the UK.




Oh and pictures of newly released Chinese stealth fighter Chinese stealth fighter show they're not slowing down in their ambitions.

I'm not saying they're supermen nor am I intending to dispute theories ( on Qi recently Stephen Fry said that just before turn of 1900 China was 2nd largest econemy in the world but went to hell shortly thereafter so don't get too afraid of em).
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Re: Science And Technology Of The Near-ish Future

Postby Mikey » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:19 am

Funny, auto manufacturers disguise their new models during testing from car mags better than the Chinese seem to have done with their new stealth MiG clone.
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Re: Science And Technology Of The Near-ish Future

Postby colmquinn » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:34 am

That is quite so - you often see pictures of the "new ferrari" yet it turns out as looking like the finished product.
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Re: Science And Technology Of The Near-ish Future

Postby Tyyr » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:02 pm

Mikey wrote:Funny, auto manufacturers disguise their new models during testing from car mags better than the Chinese seem to have done with their new stealth MiG clone.

The difference is the Chinese want us to know they have it. They want us to get a good long look at it to prove it's not just a publicity stunt but an aircraft they are getting ready to crank out.

From the images they've got here it looks to be less stealthy than the Russian's 5th Gen, more low observables (like the B-1) than true stealth. It looks more like a large heavy long range interceptor, which also happens to be what the Chinese need. Some are speculating it could be a bomb truck for attacks on ground targets siting its far more stealthy appearance from the front than the rear.
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