China's Twitter -- what they're saying

Americans need to know a lot more about China than they do at present. Not knowing much about the realities of daily life in important countries like China, Russia, and Iran, is a huge weakness. Probably most of us think that life in these places is close to being like life in prison. Not so. There is dissent and ferment and disagreement in all of these countries, despite all their governments can do to squash it.

To see what I mean, look at this survey of the “Chinese twitter”, Weibo, which is, like everything in China, censored by the government, is covered by a site in the West, called What’s On Weibo. Here’s a report on how the Corona Virus is being reported and talked about on Weibo, which is really interesting:
A friend of mine speculated about the virus and the government’s initial clumsy response to it perhaps being “China’s Chernobyl”, the Chernobyl event being credited with putting the final nail in the Soviet coffin. I think she’s a bit optimistic – we probably have another one of two generations to go in China before we have an internationally-aware, self-confident, population which demands to be treated as adults. But we’ll get there. (Same for Iran, same for Russia.)

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I think China wanted to intentionally thin out their population. For a pretend communist state, even with a controlled birth rate they still have way too many people Lots of mouths to feed and not enough resources to do it…not at they rate they are going anyway. If they want to thin out the non-Han third world population in China, this would be the most efficient way to do it.

China’s population problem is the same as the population problem of all countries that are not backward: too few people in the future.

The birth rate is declining. It is already below replacement rate in many countries, which means that eventually, they will die out.

This seems to be an inevitable product of modernity: as soon as women are allowed to get an education and enter modern society, they stop being baby-making machines. Another development at the same time as female emancipation is the advent of the welfare state: you don’t need a lot of children to ensure that there is someone to take care of you in your old age. Add to this that with modern medicine the children you have are almost certain to live – and women start having one or two children and that’ it.

China is aging. She’s going to have a problem soon: not enough young people.

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