Currently, the international situation is rapidly changing. China, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, have become the two main focal points in the world. Over the past few days, rumors and strange things have appeared in China that have attracted the outside world. According to experts’ analysis, there are four main signs that the CCP is beginning to collapse. China-Russia relations also show signs of decoupling.

The Washington Post on September 24 published an article titled “These signs show that China is starting to crack,” by expert Sebastian Mallaby – a Paul A. Volcker senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing columnist for the Washington Post. Mallaby analyzed four aspects: the pandemic, real estate, purged tech giants, and the problem of China’s population.

Mallaby opened the post with the question: Is China a powerhouse economy and will it soon surpass the U.S. in technology? Or just a sick “giant” suffering from problems such as population structure, a real estate crisis, and counterproductive policies of the regime?

He believes that the CCP is increasingly showing signs of weakness. There are fears that China will one day overtake the U.S. in areas such as drones, mobile payments, 5G network equipment, and artificial intelligence. But he also said that for China’s leaders actually face more serious challenges.

Here are four signs that the CCP is beginning to collapse, according to Mallaby’s analysis.

First: the pandemic

Mallaby said the first problem was COVID-19. In China, when there is any sign of an outbreak anywhere, the CCP quickly applies a severe lockdown: Shanghai, Shenzhen as well as dozens of other cities have been suffering devastating curfews, disrupting global supply chains, and causing food shortages and other hardships for millions of people.

For example, the typical case reported by Bloomberg Businessweek: In the Chinese border town of Ruili, people were banned from leaving their homes for 119 days from March 2021 to April 2022. At a time when most countries in the world are gradually opening up their economies and implementing the policy of “living with the virus,” the CCP’s extreme “zero-COVID” policy is increasingly causing upsets among the Chinese people. In the early morning on September 18, a bus taking people to a quarantine facility overturned, killing 27 people. Although local officials apologized, it is difficult to ease people’s anger.

Second: Real Estate

The second problem the CCP faces is real estate. Once again the CCP has made political decisions that discourage private consumption. As a result, the Party’s policy national greatness over private will promotes unhealthy growth in the real estate market. Mallaby pointed out that during the first 10 years of this century, the CCP manipulated its currency to help boost exports but also lead to unsustainable trade surpluses. The CCP’s next move was to order banks and local governments to boost the construction industry, which once again spurred growth, but it only used domestic debt to replace foreign debt. As a result, China’s largest real estate developer defaulted, buyers of unfinished apartments were furious, and mortgage payments were suspended in more than a hundred cities. House prices have fallen for 12 consecutive months. Since real estate drives more than a quarter of China’s economy, the collapse of the sector could risk a great recession in the Chinese economy.

Third: Technology

The third problem is the shadow covering China’s technology sector. For political reasons, the CCP cannot tolerate tech giants aspiring to be “Elon Musk-style” influencers. These people list their companies on foreign stock exchanges and set up companies to help Chinese students apply to foreign universities. But the CCP has cracked down on these “tech giants.”. This move does not encourage next-generation technologists to set up their companies in China.

Fourth: Demographics

The fourth problem is the population structure of China. In 1979, the CCP implemented a draconian one-child policy that led to abortion because of sex selection. It resulted shortfall of women to men ratio and a rapid drop in the birth rate. In 2016, the CCP switched to the two-child policy when it realized there was a population crisis. In 2021 the CCP announced a three-child policy and plans to encourage fertility, but it is too late, China’s birth rate showed no sign of increasing.

China’s workforce is rapidly aging due to a falling birth rate, and there are concerns that these changes in China’s population structure could lead to higher pension costs and lower economic growth.

China-Russia relations are falling apart

Outsiders notice that Xi Jinping and his confidant Li Zhanshu have different views about the China-Russia relationship. When Li, the third (position) in the CCP, made a special visit to Russia, he said that China fully understands and supports Russia’s military actions, and cooperates from different perspectives.

Professor Zheng Qinmo, dean of the department of foreign affairs at TamKang University, Taiwan, said that Li’s trip seems like a response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit. They made a play, and then entered the red line of the U.S.

Xi’s announcement is the policy of the CCP. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the CCP had “questions and concerns” about the situation with the war in Ukraine. From “unlimited cooperation” to “questions and concerns,” there are signs that China and Russia have become decoupled. Whether the current CCP has the confidence to aid Russia on a large scale is doubtful, and Zheng also thinks that Russia probably doesn’t believe it.

As for Xi’s absence from dinner at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit and returning to China at night, giving the stage to Putin and others, Zheng argues that it is not so much that Xi’s rear is losing control, but Xi feels that his “zero-COVID” policy has completely separated from the health and health care sectors, turning into a political movements. If Xi took off his mask to socialize, eat and drink at the SCO summit dinner, this would have a bad effect on China.

Zheng believes that if Xi was not careful in his words during that laid-back dinner, it would give the anti-Xi faction an excuse to attack him. Another point is that Xi does not want to be in front of too many cameras, drawing attention to his health, including the fact that he slipped when getting off the plane during this visit. Zheng pointed out that no matter how China and Russia continue to “cling to each other to warm up the relationship,” the Western world has gradually awakened and understood more and more the nature of the CCP.

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