Keats School


"One Belt One Road" and its role in Yunnan

Ishmael (462 posts) • -1

@JanJal: competiing states and economies, yes, and I think the Chinese polity and economy is 'ahead'; not sure just who, in China and India, stand to lose. India's (Indian government and capitalists?) problems are with the people? Not sure how you mean this. As to India investing in Yunnan, well, yes, the Chinese government indeed exerts control over foreign investment.
Interesting discussion.

JanJal (963 posts) • +2

@Ishmael: "not sure just who, in China and India, stand to lose"

What I meant is, that the two countries represent very different political systems. I think that they would have to come closer in those systems to move from competition to collaboration. And I believe it is China that should move closer to India's, than the other way.

Otherwise, they both become target of western suspicions if not aggression, and in that stand to be net losers.

For example, India has problems for which it could apply similar practises that China does in Xinjiang for example, but few elsewhere than China would view such positively.

India's problems (in my view anyway) are among the people, in villages and families, not so much with cabinets in New Delhi.

Meanwhile China the problems run from top to down, I believe. I have more faith in Chinese people, than their own government has.

Ishmael (462 posts) • -1

OK, I get it, although I think India's problem also are very seriously caused/maintained by the corruption and elitism at the socio-political top, and their cynical manipulation of ethnicity, religion, and any damn thing that will promote their personal, corporate or political interests.
Also: 'collaboration' among states tends to mean 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend' (in other words, in the present global arena, competition is simply hidden in the basement for awhile) among those who dominate, politically and/or economically. I think the Indian communist parties are, or anyway have been, marginally less obsessed in this, but I wouldn't strongly defend such an opinion, and they've never had more than power in individual Indian states - never national power.
But I think we're losing anything specific to Yunnan and Kunming in our levels of generalization and scale now.

cloudtrapezer (756 posts) • -1

What would be nice is if the governments of either India or China were motivated by improving the lives of the ordinary people especially those of the very poor of whom there are far too many in both countries. I'm pretty sure that policies grounded in geopolitics, in other words interfering and seeking influence, don't help the people. Furthermore if a country treats its people well its influence will naturally grow without the necessity for grand and expensive geopolitical projects.

Ishmael (462 posts) • -2

@cloudtrapezer: Or grand and expensive local projects, like more & more glass-&-steel towers in Kunming - who is it they serve? Not a lot of ordinary folks. I wonder how much the Belt & Road thing is going to serve ordinary folks (except some trickle-down coins, while it may be bringing larger denominations to the elite, enabling them to remain the elite and to maintain the RELATIVE rich/relative poor distinction that keeps them an elite and in control of both wealth and power).
Having said that, the Chinese state rulers have, in fact, done a lot to reduce/eliminate ABSOLUTE poverty - more, I think, than India has - and if Belt-Road stuff furthers the reduction only of absolute poverty in India and/or China then there's something to say for it.
Screw national goals - think about people.

JanJal (963 posts) • +2

@cloudtrapezer: "if the governments of either India or China were motivated by improving the lives of the ordinary people especially those of the very poor"

Agreed, but people remain investments for powers that be. In countries with this big populations, the expected return for that investment is not always high.

China still has counter-revolution in the vocabulary, and it has reasons

to address these issues that other, perhaps politically more developed, countries do not have.

Combining these two factors, it is sufficient for China to seek moderate prosperity only. Give them as little as you can without risking a revolution.

China wouldn't need to settle for that, if it didn't have to compensate the short-comings (at least in my view) of it's political system in international arena by economic muscle. It could spend more on it's own people.

But it can't, and that's why BRI.

Ishmael (462 posts) • -1

Then there's maybe cheap SEA labor in the future for Chinese or other profit-seekers operating in Yunnan, or based in Yunnan and operating in SEA? (Or maybe they'll consult Trump on building a wall).

"But it can't", and you're not talking only about economic muscle - no, 'China' feels its got to have a military, among other things, as its nation-state 'competitors' do (e.g, note the size of the military of the US, which has problems funding medical services and other things for ordinary folk while it protects them against the likes of Vietnam, Guatamala, North Korea, Yemen etc.).
You can analyze local problems better if you start at the global level of the universal suicide machine.

cloudtrapezer (756 posts) • -1

I don't see why a one-party system necessarily has to go in for grandiose overseas schemes. And the Indian example proves that democracies don't necessarily put the welfare of their citizens first. To address these questions we'd have to examine history in a lot more detail than is convenient for this forum.

Ishmael (462 posts) • -1

Yes, including the issue of including India (or Thailand, or Myanmar, or anywhere) as a 'democracy'.

JanJal (963 posts) • +2

@cloutrapezer: "I don't see why a one-party system necessarily has to go in for grandiose overseas schemes"

I think it is because they want to stay that way. Alternative is to close up and not let your people see light of day, so to speak.

If people are allowed to acquire ideas, like China has been allowing since opening up, you have to give them something more than bread and circus.

One-party system by nature has much more to lose, if the people are not satisfied with the government.

China's BRI achievements abroad, even when questionable for outsiders, serve purpose in governing China and maintaining the one-party system.

Alternative is tanks and camps.

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