Most Popular
1. Dow Max Drawdown Bear Stock Market 2022 - Accumulating Deviations from the Highs - 21st Feb 22
2.Putin Starts WW3 in Ukraine, Will Use Tactical Nuclear Weapons, China Prepares Taiwan Blitzkrieg - 28th Feb 22
3.World War 3 Phase 1 - Putin WINS Ukraine War! - 25th Feb 22
4.INVESTORS SEDUCED by CNBC and the STOCK CHARTS COMPLETELY MISS the BIG PICTURE! - 10th Feb 22
5.Will There Be A 2024 US Presidential Election? - 3rd Mar 22
6.Gold and SIlver, Precious Metals Sector Is at a Terrific Buy Spot - 6th Feb 22
7.Why Putin Wants the WHOLE of Ukraine - World War 3 Untended Consequences - 6th Feb 22
8.Dow Stock Market Expected Max Drawdown 2022 - 19th Feb 22
9.Stock Market Calm In the Eye of the Inflation Storm - 4th Mar 22
10.M = F - Everything is Waving! Stock Market Forward Guidance - 7th Mar 22
Last 7 days
Why Ray Dalio is WRONG About China - Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order - 24th May 22
Globalists Convene to Plan Central Bank Digital Currencies - 24th May 22
After Recent Highs, What’s Next for the Gold Junior Miners? - 24th May 22
Why APPLE Could CRASH the Stock Market! - 21st May 22
Why Is Crude Oil Ignoring US Inventories? - 21st May 22
Here is Why I’m Still Bullish on Gold Mining Stocks - 21st May 22
THE INFLATION MEGA-TREND QE4EVER! - 20th May 22
US Real Estate Investors – Is There An End In Sight? - 20th May 22
How Technology Affected the Gaming Industry - 20th May 22
How To Set And Achieve Reasonable Goals For Your Company - 20th May 22
How Low Could the Amazon (AMZN) Stock Price Fall? - 19th May 22
Bitten by FANG? Clocked by Cryptos? -- 'Air Pockets' Everywhere - 19th May 22
Northern General Hospital Orthopedics Fractures and and Ankle Clinic Consultations Real Patient Experience - 19th May 22
Cathie Wood Goes All in on Teladoc, ARKK INSANE Noob Investing Strategy! - 17th May 22
This is Anything but Positive for US Housing Market - 17th May 22
What Should We Do If There Is No Fed Monetary Policy Pivot? - 17th May 22
All Possible Ways to Earn Free Litecoin - 17th May 22
How low Could the Amazon Stock Price Fall? - 16th May 22
Cathy Wood ARKK INSANITY There is NO Coming Back! - 16th May 22
NASDAQ 100 Stock Market LOWER LOWS & LOWER HIGH - 16th May 22
Sanctions, trade wars worsen US inflation - 16th May 22
AI Tech Stocks Earnings BloodBath Buying Opportunity - 14th May 22
Futures Contract – Trading Crude Oil With USO - 14th May 22
How to Get Kaspersky Internet Security for 80% Discount! Do not Pay Renewal Price! - 14th May 22
Sagittarius A* Super Massive Black Hole Monster at Centre of Our Galaxy REVEALED! - 14th May 22
UK Public Debt Smoking Inflation Gun - 13th May 22
What Happens When the Stock Market Dip Keeps Dipping? - 13th May 22
Biden Seeks Inflation Scapegoats; Gold Advocate Wins GOP Primary - 13th May 22
Apple and Microsoft Nuts Are About to CRACK and Send Stock Market Sharply Lower - 12th May 22
The War on Gold Ensures the Dollar’s Downfall - 12th May 22

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

China’s Biggest Limitations Determine the Future of East Asia

Politics / China Mar 23, 2017 - 12:14 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Politics

BY GEORGE FRIEDMAN : As we wrote about in “China’s Strategy,” East Asia is split into four parts: The Pacific archipelago, the Chinese mainland, the Korean Peninsula, and Indochina. East Asia holds the second and third largest world economies: China and Japan. The relationship between them and the US define modern East Asian geopolitics.


(Download my FREE e-book, The World Explained in Maps, to get more insight into the forces shaping our physical and financial worlds.)

China’s Power Can Be Seen from Outer Space

The above map shows the countries of East Asia lit up at night. It reveals much about the power dynamics in this region. The centers of Chinese wealth and power—including Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong—all hug China’s long coastline. Geographic features in the interior divide the country. The rest of the country is in darkness.

Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan are major industrial powers that border these waters along China’s coast. Much of the rest of East Asia is in darkness. North Korea’s darkness is particularly striking.

But relative to the bright lights of China’s coast and Japan, much of Indochina and inner China are also undeveloped.

Western China Is Nearly Uninhabitable

The below map shows population density in China with the 15-inch isohyet overlaid on top.

The area of China from this line to the coast gets enough rain to support a large population. North and west of the 15-inch isohyet, China is less populated and undeveloped.

Geography Limits China’s Expansion

The distance from Beijing to Kazakhstan is almost 2,500 miles through desert and mountains. The Himalayas box China in on the southwest. They also stop conflict between India and China.

Jungles on the border with Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand have always limited Chinese growth south.

It is hard for China to grow westward. When China’s power is ascendant, it can grow north, south, or east toward the Pacific. This is easier said than done. Japan continues to be the major regional power. China would still face certain defeat against Japan, especially with US support of the Japanese.

So, China is mainly focused on two things. Controlling its chaotic domestic political and economic situation as growth rates have slowed. And building its military. First for resistance and then for offensive action in the region.

The Chinese Navy Is in No Position to Take Action

The Chinese navy is still a decade away from exerting power over the islands, rocks, and shoals that limit China’s freedom to navigate along its coast.

Many countries around China have claims over these islands. The region’s other major players—Japan and South Korea—are both key US allies. They host large and permanent US military deployments. And like we recently mentioned, the Philippines recently welcomed back US forces to their bases.

This situation has created a stalemate. The US has no desire for a bad relationship with China. But it also doesn’t want any power to control the region. And China still cannot challenge US hegemony in the seas.

As we’ve discussed before, it talks of nationalism in the South China Sea mostly for domestic consumption. Japan and the other East Asian countries view China with increasing concern. They remain staunch US allies as a result.

North Korea Is China’s Bargaining Chip

When we wrote about the North Korean strategy, we said that North Korea appears dangerous with its nuclear weapons tests and its sly, bigoted strongman regime built around a top leader. Kim Jong Un is that leader and he has been consolidating his power.

North Korea happens to also be one of the few areas China is weak. The Chinese intervened in the Korean War when US forces neared the Yalu River on the border between North Korea and China.

North Korea’s unpredictable behavior gives China a big bargaining chip in its relations with the US and the region. So, China favors keeping the status quo.

China’s Limitations Determine the Future of East Asia

East Asia is the world’s most dynamic economic region. Strong countries surround bodies of water over which there is competition. These are some of the world’s most important sea lanes. Japan and China (in that order) are the region’s two most significant powers.

But as we wrote about last year, the most powerful country in the Pacific, the US, is far away. Its Navy patrols and keeps freedom of movement across the Pacific. At the center of this power struggle is China. China’s struggle against its domestic and geographic constraints is the key to understanding the future of this region.

Grab George Friedman's Exclusive eBook, The World Explained in Maps

The World Explained in Maps reveals the panorama of geopolitical landscapes influencing today's governments and global financial systems. Don't miss this chance to prepare for the year ahead with the straight facts about every major country’s and region's current geopolitical climate. You won't find political rhetoric or media hype here.

The World Explained in Maps is an essential guide for every investor as 2017 takes shape. Get your copy now—free!

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in