Since 1949, China has lost one fifth of its arable land to urbanisation and industrialisation and currently only about 10-15% of the land is good for agriculture. China has negotiated with financially-strapped Argentina and Colombia to buy or lease land to grow food for itself. China faces a daunting task to feed 22% of world popu
It is it only the virus that has made China Public Enemy No 1? Or are there other issues? China seeks to overawe her neighbours merely by her bulk and appearance. The post-perestroika collapse of the Soviet Union taught China’s leaders the dangers of political reform. Xi Jinping has since been spooked by the chaos unleashed in the Arab spring.
The term Comprehensive National Power, so beloved of our self-styled intellectuals, is a Chinese construct as though weakness in one pillar can be compensated for by strength in another. It cannot. All of the USSR’s military might could not compensate for a cratering economy, and it vanished without so much as a “by your leave”.
The ultimate determinant of a country’s strength is its people’s will power. The brave Vietnamese could not match the mighty USA in weaponry or economic strength or international connections, yet they brought their adversary to its knees. So, the good people of China have to be on a permanent Long March, in perpetual motion, else they will start asking uncomfortable questions about why their “mighty” nation is a pariah led by…