The need to store money in property has led to the worst property bubble in history. It could burst suddenly tomorrow or any time in the next decade. Such a crisis could be precipitated by, for example, foreign owners of office blocks and skyscrapers deciding to sell them. No one knows how or when but it seems bound to happen.
According to Kitto the prevailing culture is wholly materialistic and status-obsessed with little tolerance of foreigners wanting to settle down in China (as Kitto had tried to do over 16 years as an immigrant businessman, only to find himself decidedly unwelcome). Corruption is endemic, pride is taken in the bigness of the country, there is no widespread, trusted legal system and education in other than the city international schools stifles creativity and consigns the majority of pupils to a sense of worthlessness, although I am sure there are elements of it the west could learn from.
Kitto’s picture of China today is one of status and wealth seeking, corruption, xenophobia and absence of an effective justice system. There is also resentment at the large inequalities which are building up. This is manifest in the private gated communities growing in number.
So when problems come to a head it seems to me there will either be
- Implosion. Violent riots and civil war throughout the country. There are numerous regions and ethnic groups to fight over diminishing resources, including food and water, and plenty of single men looking for a cause and having no belief in God to restrain them. Previous internal conflict has been deadly and cruel on a scale difficult to imagine in the west. The first part of the 20th century saw up to 100 million deaths and much gratuitous torture (e.g. Mao Tse Tung buried 40,000 scholars alive).
- Explosion. With the military occupying surrounding countries and using their minerals and other natural resources. Afghanistan, e.g., has numerous rare earths and much else. Japan is in dispute with China over some small rocky islands. Afghanistan might be seen as a way of employing the large number of single men who could otherwise go on the rampage within China. It has the manpower to completely swamp the country and the ruthlessness to deal barbarically with jihad in the way Mao Tse Tung dealt with the old feudal system in China. As an atheist regime there would be no holds barred, since absolute right and wrong would disappear from the perceived universe, as it did in the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
- reducing corruption when Christian beliefs are sincerely held.
- encouraging creativity in science, technology, business, social services and the arts (as in Protestant Europe and N.America during the Enlightenment, where recognition of ourselves as being made in God’s image had obvious implications for human creativity).
- sanctification of truth (essential for science, engineering, accountancy and all human endeavours).
- questioning human authority, so that no one person can assume the role of a god (this is what brought about western democracy).
- permitting business networks to flourish as trust is restored. This is already happening in Wenzhou with its Protestant community
- communal care and health services free at the point of consumption (Christian communities are already providing care for the elderly and the Party knows this).