Will China have large scale civil unrest with in the next two decades?

  • With such a large population, economic inequality, outside influence, and potential economic changes, there seems to be decent chance.

    I think that here is a moderately large chance there will be societal unrest. Whether or not it actually leads to an reform or, hopefully not, violence, I'm not really sure.

    Here are my reasons:
    Outside influence is something the CCP (Chinese Communist Party; the government of China) sees as a threat, and for good reason. The East is very different from the West. It has evolved almost entirely separate from Western values until the beginnings of globalism between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Generally, they are fine with a strong, central government, such as their kings and, currently, the CCP. Now, however, Western values, not that they are necessarily superior, lead to a lot of call for increased personal freedoms and, in some cases, political reform. Hong Kong and Taiwan, the latter of which mainland China considers a rogue province, are major sources of this unrest, as are Tibet and Xinjiang.

    Additionally, such a large population, especially when it includes the Uyghurs, the Tibetans, as well all the other minorities, is very difficult to control. The CCP has seen its numbers swell in an attempt to keep the population in check. Nevertheless, as more Chinese come out of poverty, they also want to see more freedom--freedom the CCP is very hesitant to give. It seems that this population would be very hard to keep in control if civil unrest were to start. Even though the CCP keeps a tight reign on their internet, it seems impossible for unrest to not spread in such a densely populated country. Additionally, their internet restrictions may not be as effective once you have a generation in power that widely understands the use of coding, networking, social media, and VPNs.

    China also has a very dire economic inequality situation. While historically they have accepted this, historically the West also accepted it before, for example, the Magna Carta or, more recently, the Progressive Era. History does not always predict the future. Technology and globalism have changed the field greatly, which leads me to believe that the Chinese population will not necessarily simply accept inequality in the long run.

    Finally, China's economy is currently going through some radical reform from a manufacturing-based economy to a services-based one. However, the change seems to be quite turbulent, as can be seen in the recent stock market snafu. However, China employs a lot of people with these manufacturing jobs, and if it begins to get rid of them, which it is also doing by replacing them with industrial robots, then it seems that this lower class, which represents a large portion of people in China, could be the source of the unrest.

    Ultimately, I do not want to see China in trouble. I intend to travel there and perhaps even live there one day. However, it seems that their government is very unjust to the people, and that the CCP is having trouble keeping it all together, so I am worried to see what will become of China.

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