The geopolitical landscape of the 21st century has been largely characterized by the rise of China. From its impressive economic growth to its military might, China has become a major player on the world stage. But some analysts, such as Peter Zeihan, are now predicting that China could collapse within the next decade. In this article, we’ll explore the three key numbers that could support Zeihan’s contrarian forecast.
First, there’s China’s economy. Despite its impressive growth over the past few decades, the nation has been experiencing rare civil unrest due to its strict pandemic-related policies, which have led to a contraction in exports, industrial output and consumer spending. Furthermore, China’s debt has been rising rapidly, which could hinder its ability to limit future economic shocks.
Second, there’s China’s population. Due to its one-child policy, which was in place for more than three decades before it ended in 2016, China’s population is aging rapidly. This means there are fewer working-age individuals to support the aging population. The United Nations forecasts the nation’s population, which is now roughly 1.42 billion, to fall below 800 million by the year 2100.
Third, there’s China’s reliance on international trade. Exports accounted for more than 20.4% of the nation’s nearly $18 trillion gross domestic product in 2021, according to the World Bank. China’s dependence on foreign markets makes it vulnerable to global economic fluctuations and trade policy shifts.
These three key numbers suggest that China’s future could be uncertain and that its collapse is not out of the realm of possibility. But many analysts believe that the nation could still weather the economic storms, especially if it shifts towards domestic consumption and continues to invest in electric car manufacturers like Nio and Xpeng. Ultimately, only time will tell whether Zeihan’s predictions come true.