Military Conflict and Economic Warfare, China-Taiwan

Some commentators have worried about imminent military hostilities between China and Taiwan (and hence the United States, almost assuredly). Here’s some reasons to think it’s not quite happening yet — at least the military part. The economic aspects — we’ll have to wait and see.

Geopolitical Risks and Likelihood of Military Action

Here’re the Caldara and Iacoviello Geopolitical Risk Indices (AER 2022) for China and Taiwan:

Source: Caldara, Iacoviello (2022).

Source: Caldara, Iacoviello (2022).

Recent peaks are at March 2022.

The national security industry has gone full into full overdrive into analyzing the prospects for a full fledged military conflict (not that there isn’t reason to do so — just that one has to try to look at the threats with clear eyes). Here’s Michael O’Hanlon (Brookings), in Can China Take Taiwan? Why No One Really Knows?:

“[O]ne set of plausible modeling inputs, parameters, and assumptions could easily forecast a Chinese victory, while another comparably credible set could imply a U.S./Taiwan/allied victory. And this is even when accounting for a specific level of geographic and military escalation. As such, policymakers on both sides could not be certain that their own nation’s war plans would be successful. The dangers of escalation would add even more uncertainty to the situation.

The author assesses a blockade scenario, rather than an all out invasion, given the advantages of such a measure:

That is because China can pursue it, at least at first, with limited physical violence against the people of Taiwan, a people that, after all, China claims as its own. A blockade also has the apparent virtue of being reversible, or at least adjustable, should Beijing choose to de-escalate the conflict at any point.

Lots of chatter about the costliness of actual warfare, given current and very near future capabilities on both sides, e.g., recent wargames conducted at CSIS [1], [2], or sets of simulations [3] .

Given the low benefit/risk ratio for overt Chinese military action and hence likelihood (see also Scobell (USIP)) I’m going to focus in on economic aspects of the conflict between China and Taiwan, including (1) economic actions as precursor to military action, and (2) susceptibility to Chinese economic pressure.

Economic Implications

Di Pippo (CSIS) notes Imminent overt military action would be presaged by economic measures such as:

Imposition of stronger cross-border capital controls, including in response to apparent capital flight from elites

A freeze on foreign financial assets within China

Rapid liquidation and repatriation of Chinese assets held abroad, including sales of U.S. bonds

A surge in stockpiling emergency supplies, such as medicine or key technology inputs

A suspension of key exports, such as critical minerals, refined petroleum products, or food

Measures to reduce demand or ration key goods, especially imports like oil and gas

Prioritization or redirection of key inputs for military production

Restrictions on outward travel for Chinese elites or high-priority workers

(Clearly problematic to implement if the element of surprise were desired.) On the other hand, measures implemented with an eye toward eventual conflict would include “Industrial policies focused on eliminating foreign dependencies across the value chain, Efforts to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities to U.S. sanctions and organize its bureaucracy for the imposition of countersanctions [and] Expedited efforts to reduce China’s dependency on the U.S. dollar for international finance via renminbi internationalization” among others.

As noted elsewhere, it’s problematic for China to effectively implement such measures, e.g., reducing dependence on the dollar, and Western financial infrastructure, from messaging (SWIFT), to banking (see these slides, presentation in Panel 2 at UW LaFollette Annual Forum). And China remains heavily dependent on Taiwan for semiconductor chips.

Source: Bloomberg, Aug. 17, 2022.

In terms of current economic warfare, the measures taken by Beijing seem pretty symbolic in nature (citrus and fish bans) [NYT]. Also some DNS attacks.

Still, China could exert more pressure by engaging in (as it seems likely to do) persistent military drills close to Taiwan, driving elevated defense expenditures (and wearing down readiness), or (Kaushal (RUSI)) posing…

“the question of how Taiwanese political leaders should respond. In the build-up to the Ukrainian conflict, one factor that slowed the Ukrainian leadership’s decision-making on the question of declaring a state of emergency and mobilisation was the fear that Russia was using the prospect of war to drive capital flight and an economic collapse, but had no intention of actually invading. Taiwan’s leaders could find themselves placed on the horns of a similar dilemma regarding whether to sound the alarm or not.”

Foreign exchange reserves did drop noticeably to $545 billion in April of 2022 after risk (as measured by the GPR) peaked in March. Nonetheless, fx reserves have nearly regained earlier levels, ending July at $548 billion. (The financial+capital account was in surplus, $32.5 billion in Q1, down from Q4, but double what was recorded two years ago.

Beijing recognizes there are other ways of coercing Taiwan. The challenge for US (and other) policymakers is how to counter those means, while not de-stabilizing the situation. (For me, it’s not plausible to just argue “Xi must go” and hope for divine intervention, as some commentators have pushed forward as “a policy”).

Perceptions Matter

At the same time that the US needs to insulate Taiwan from Chinese coercion, we need to do it in a way that is not provocative. From USIP:

… China perceives that the Biden administration has undertaken a significant shift in its Taiwan policy resulting in a concerted effort to qualitatively upgrade U.S. relations with the island. This perception is the polar opposite of the message that the Biden administration intended to signal to Beijing: that U.S. policy on Taiwan has remained unchanged and is completely consistent with the approach of prior administrations. Why the misinterpretation? Clear signaling and unambiguous messaging is exceedingly difficult in the current toxic climate of U.S.-China relations, which is rife with mutual suspicion and deep distrust.

In this vein, one should consider all the possibilities to buttress America’s economic relationship with Taiwan; that includes the announcement of trade negotiations between the US and Taiwan. While not the precursor to a free trade agreement (It would’ve been far better had we stayed with TPP and admitted Taiwan, but that ship has sailed – Thanks, Trump!), it is a symbol of support (and symbols are important in building confidence to, for instance, deter capital flight).


58 thoughts on “Military Conflict and Economic Warfare, China-Taiwan

  1. Steven Kopits

    ‘’s not plausible to just argue “Xi must go”… ‘ What a cop-out. A real apologist sentiment. “Oh, my, I am so weak, I cannot resist. What can I do? I must remain silent!”

    Of course it’s plausible to argue Xi must go. For you, and alas for much of the Chinese American — and indeed, the broader global — community, far too much leeway is given to Xi with virtually no call for democracy in China. We Eastern Europeans, like the expatriate Cubans, called for the end of dictatorship and the return of democracy to our countries of origin. We did not do a cost-benefit analysis of the likelihood of success. We did it because we believed it was necessary and right.
    Don’t see that with China.

    The issue of Taiwan is not whether China takes Taiwan or not. The issue is whether the liberal order which has prevailed for the last 200 years will remain. Whether China ‘wins’ or ‘loses’, whether the US ‘wins’ or ‘loses’, what is the nature of the world to follow? If the US ‘wins’, what will China do? Will it meekly crawl back into its hole and disappear, or will it gather its strength for yet another war? And what if China wins? Do we go back to business as usual? Will the US meekly accept the destruction of a couple of aircraft carriers, a few hundred aircraft, tens of thousands of men, and simply walk away? Or is the world that follows built on the fear of China? Is the theme of the coming decades deterrence and defense against China, appeasement and disengagement? That is all about the destruction of the commons, the end of the global liberal order.

    And what if it all turns nuclear?

    We can talk about all sorts of economic cost-benefit calculus. And how did that kind of calculus influence events in Russia? It didn’t. All such analyses assume that the dictator and the population have the same objective function. They most assuredly do not. Prices to be paid which are exorbitant to the public are spare change to the dictator. Is that not the lesson of Putin’s Russia? It will be no different in China. It certainly wasn’t until forty years ago.

    Xi wants to restore the prerogatives of the imperial household. In this, his primary opponent is neither Taiwan nor the United States, but rather the Chinese middle class. Hong Kong and Taiwan must be crushed first and foremost as symbols of the liberal order, the rule of law, the rights of the individual, and democracy.

    The next ten years will be about whether China can interact sociably and peacefully with the rest of the world, or whether it is a mortal threat to every other country out there. Under Xi, it will be decidedly a mortal threat.

    1. Macroduck

      Stevie has tried to change the terms of debate by misconstruing Menzie’s point. Stevie unwittingly (quelle suprise) gives evidence of the rightness of Menzie’s view in his mention of Cuba. Sure, we can agitate for a change in government, but we can’t reliably engineer a change.

      Menzie meant “do”. Stevie pretended Menzie meant “talk”. Big difference. Cheap debating trick.

    2. Barkley Rosser


      I think you have made way too much of a fetish of this democracy demand you keep putting out there that everybody should be demanding of the PRC, along with that Xi must go.

      The problem is, just what counts as “democracy”? Certainly the PRC is not one. But what about places like Russia and Hungary and Turkey? All of them have authoritarian leaders who ere nominally elected, with nominally existing opposition parties in place. Are they democracies? Certainly not like the US or Taiwan.

      I do not think he will bother, but I can imagine that if somehow much of the world followed your request and simply just demanded that the PRC “become a democracy,” Xi could simply stage a popular election that he controls a la Putin in Russia, and, well, who are you to say the PRC is not “democratic”?

      1. pgl

        But what about places like Russia and Hungary and Turkey?

        Good question but Stevie is already “on the record” applauding Orban. Go figure!

  2. Macroduck

    Excellent topic. In general, forecasting political decisions, war, revolt, regime change and the like is even trickier than forecasting economic and financial outcomes; monkeys throwing darts, says Kahneman. That doesn’t excuse us from trying to anticipate, influence and prepare.

    We have to assume China is working to take over Taiwan, against the wishes of the majority of Taiwan’s people. That is, after all, China’s stated policy goal.

    If that’s the goal, then some planned path toward that goal was very likely already in place. Xi’s shift toward authoritarian rule and his accelerated effort at expanding Chinese hegemony over a wide region in Asia, as well as his accelerated acquisition of naval firepower all point to an accelerated timetable for imposing Beijing’s rule over an unwilling Taiwan.

    Does Xi’s current temper tantrum indicate a further acceleration? Don’t know. Perhaps he sees evidence of U.S. devotion to Taiwan as a reason to change plans. Perhaps he’s just posturing.

    The smart thing for China to do is to work at building a strong fifth column in Taiwan. That process may be difficult to accelerate. I don’t know how strong fifth column elements are, but apparently there is a long-standing effort to recruit Taiwanese business people and retired military working in China. For instance:

    In any case, building a fifth column is a time-consuming process.

    I’ve read that Xi’s military build up is mostly aimed at confronting the U.S. as a necessary element for an invasion of Taiwan, which makes sense. I’ve also read that the process of accelerated militarization is meant to be complete in 2027. I don’t know if that makes sense.

  3. Macroduck

    Di Pippo’s list of economic measures is problematic for maintaining surprise, but useful for gauging U.S. intent. If China shows a commitment to enduring economic sanctions in case of conflict, the U.S. would need to show commitment through practical, expensive measures of its own. Absent such a response by the U.S., China would have reason to doubt the U.S. would risk much to protect Taiwan.

  4. ltr

    For you, and alas for much of the ——- American — and indeed, the broader global — community….
    For you, and alas for much of the ——- American — and indeed, the broader global — community….
    For you, and alas for much of the ——- American — and indeed, the broader global — community….

    [ Definitive racism. As with the Jews of Europe a century ago, a project spreading from Germany was to repeatedly stereotype in ever more malevolent ways. ]

    1. Macroduck

      “The Global Slavery Index estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were over 3.8 million people living in conditions of modern slavery in China, a prevalence of 2.8 victims for every thousand people in the country. This estimate does not include figures on organ trafficking.”

      And China’s practice of slavery has a strong element of racism:

      ltr continues to whine about racism while defending China’s racist practice of slavery. Disgusting.

    2. ltr

      For you, and alas for much of the ——- American — and indeed, the broader global — community….

      [ Not long ago, I remember this writer threatening ——- Americans with detention camps, should these Americans fail to be properly regimented in thinking. ]

      1. AndrewG

        “[ Not long ago, I remember this writer threatening ——- Americans with detention camps, should these Americans fail to be properly regimented in thinking. ]”

        Do you have a link to back up this claim? It’s a big one.

    3. ltr

      The next ten years will be about whether —– can interact sociably and peacefully with the rest of the world, or whether it is a mortal threat to every other country out there. Under –, it will be decidedly a mortal threat.

      [ This is a false assertion, a definitively racist assertion. ]

      1. ltr

        The Global Slavery Index estimates…

        [ These are just the sorts of false assertions that were used in trying to destroy the Jews of Europe. ]

        1. AndrewG

          Could you tell us how the analysis is false, besides simply claiming bias?

          Could you tell us how China is anything like the Jews of Europe, other than your suggesting persecution? I’d find this claim offensive unless you had a sincere story to back it up. Last time I checked, Jews collectively didn’t have a state or any other means of defending themselves from Hitler and Stalin before Israel.

        2. Barkley Rosser


          In Europe it was Germany that was putting Jews in concentration camps. They were not putting anybody in concentration camps.

          In China, it is the PRC government that is putting Uighurs in labor camps. Nobody is putting Chinese in any such camps anywhere. This claim of yours is indeed truly offensive.

          1. Barkley Rosser

            “They” in the second sentence above were the Jews. They were not putting anybody in concentration camps, any more than Ukghurs in Xinjiang are putting Han Cinese in labor camps.

    4. AndrewG

      Sincere mental health comment for ltr (you should not dismiss concerns over your stress and anger levels):

      When you are anger-posting like this, it’s important to pay attention to what your body is doing. Is your heart rate up? Is your breathing shallow? Are you shaky and tense? These are signs you are overwhelmed with anger. Maybe – for your own mental and cardiovascular health – put off writing the comment for a few minutes to cool off.

      The last time I got so angry while writing a comment was almost a year ago on another website. It was replying to some ignorant post about Covid (as you know, there are many vaccine and Covid skeptics in the West). After writing what was probably a couple thousand words, I realized that I had all of those symptoms I just mentioned. My vision was even blurry. I was totally ignoring my spouse, who was trying to get my attention. Not good. Not good for me.

  5. ltr

    August 21, 2022

    Chinese mainland records 602 new confirmed COVID-19 cases

    The Chinese mainland recorded 602 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday, with 553 attributed to local transmissions and 49 from overseas, data from the National Health Commission showed on Sunday.

    A total of 1,708 asymptomatic cases were also recorded on Saturday, and 20,801 asymptomatic patients remain under medical observation.

    The cumulative number of confirmed cases on the Chinese mainland is 239,424, with the death toll from COVID-19 standing at 5,226.

    Chinese mainland new locally transmitted cases

    Chinese mainland new imported cases

    Chinese mainland new asymptomatic cases

      1. Ivan

        You found a good database. You just don’t know how to pick the data that will give important insights. The relevant numbers are the number of deaths per number of cases.

        China death rates: 1 per 46 diagnosed cases
        US death rates: 1 per 90 diagnosed cases
        Australia death rates: 1 per 742 diagnosed cases

        Before 2022: 1 death per 22 diagnosed cases
        In 2022: 1 death per 231 diagnosed cases

        Before 2022: 1 death per 66 diagnosed cases
        In 2022: 1 death per 182 diagnosed cases

        Before 2022: 1 death per 169 diagnosed cases
        In 2022: 1 death per 866 diagnosed cases

  6. ltr

    This is what China has been and is about:

    August 21, 2022

    Pairing assistance promotes common prosperity in Tibet

    LHASA — Samzhub’s family has long picked matsutake mushrooms in the nearby mountains, selling them online to various customers. Now, their business model has been simplified, thanks to a new purchasing station that buys the mushrooms and sells them in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

    “We previously sold our agricultural products through online platforms. Due to limited output and high logistics costs, the net profit was not good,” said Samzhub, a resident of the city of Nyingchi in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region.

    “Since we started to cooperate with the matsutake processing company, we haven’t had to worry about selling. And our income can be guaranteed,” Samzhub added.

    These benefits have not been felt only by Samzhub’s family, but also by many other residents in Nyingchi. They are the beneficiaries of a program called “consumption aid for Tibet,” which has been carried out by the assistance team from south China’s Guangdong Province over the past three years.

    The program aims to help special agricultural products from Nyingchi tap the market in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. In this way, farmers and herdsmen in Nyingchi can make bigger profits and finally realize common prosperity.

    With the help of the Guangdong assistance team, Nyingchi matsutakes are now on the market of Macao.

    “Local residents just need to send the mushrooms to purchasing stations, and the products will be transported to Guangdong by air the next day,” said Liu Yan, who is in charge of the company. “Through this method, our company has helped 186 households of farmers and herdsmen become richer, and provided more than 50 stable jobs.”

    Guangdong Province is among the pioneers of China’s reform and opening up, as well as being one of the economically powerful provinces. In contrast, Tibet was once a poverty-stricken region located on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Its high altitude, harsh environment, poor transportation and lack of resources acted to hamper economic development.

    The close connection between the two distant regions has its origins in the country’s strategic decision to rally national support for Tibet back in 1994.

    Under the policy of pairing-up assistance for Tibet, some central state organs, provincial-level regions, and centrally administered state-owned enterprises were designated to provide assistance to specific areas of Tibet, injecting strong impetus into the development of the plateau region….

    1. bafflng

      more chinese communist party propaganda from ltr. why does ltr hate the west so much?

      ltr, do you think i could post western propaganda on chinese web sites? or would i be assaulted by the chinese government?

  7. ltr

    This is what China has been and is about:

    August 20, 2022

    Chinese medical team provides quality health service in Ethiopia

    ADDIS ABABA — In the operation room at the Ethiopia-China Friendship Hospital, Ethiopian health experts and their Chinese counterparts perform major operations including cesarean section, helping mothers give births through surgical incisions.

    “The China medical team is helping deliver quality health care in Ethiopia besides sharing expertise with local health workers,” said Yewbdar Tassew, one of the nurses who work as an anesthetist at the hospital, also known as the Tirunesh Beijing Hospital.

    “The support of the Chinese medical team is immense and without their help, such better health care would not be possible,” said Tassew in a recent interview with Xinhua.

    According to Tassew who also works as a case team leader in the operation room, the Chinese anesthesiologists have taught the local nurses how to carry out regional anesthesia, a type of pain management for surgery that numbs a large part of the body, such as from the waist down.

    “We have gained several techniques of quality health service delivery including applying anesthesia using ultrasound and handling video laryngoscopes,” said Tassew, noting that the Chinese doctors also helped raise the number of local anesthetists to 20 now from 10 three years ago.

    China has been sending medical missions to Ethiopia since 1974 and currently the 23rd batch of the Chinese medical team, consisting of 16 medical professionals, is offering all kinds of health care services at the hospital….

  8. ltr

    The Global Slavery Index estimates…
    The Global Slavery Index estimates…
    The Global Slavery Index estimates…

    [ This is of course false and unspeakably malicious. These are people who are determined to destroy a 5,000 people. Imagine the maliciousness of such racism. ]

    1. ltr


      The Global Slavery Index estimates…

      [ This is of course false and unspeakably malicious. These are people who are determined to destroy a 5,000 year-old people. Imagine the maliciousness of such racism. We would be returned with such falseness to the atmosphere that preceded the Holocaust. ]

      1. Barkley Rosser


        Again you make yourself look ridiculous charging racism when there is none there. The people making the Global Slavery index estimates are nor racist, but the treatment of the Uhghurs in Xinjiang sure looks pretty racist.

        I had never checked this index out before. Funny thing is you could use a quite different defense here. China actually does not look all that bad on this index. It comes in sort of intermediate on world rankings, in line with places like Mexico and Algeria. Yeah, US looks a lot better, but lots of places are much worse, including Russia and Paksistan. North Korea is at the top of the list as the worst of all on this index.

        Also, Wikipedia entry on this index notes some criticisms of it regarding data sources and such, but not that it is “racist.”

    2. Macroduck

      China engages in slavery. That has been the case for years and remains the case now. I keep citing independent sources which verify China’s use of slaves. ltr, who is paid by China to spread Chinese propaganda, declares that all those sources are wrong.

      China’s practice of slavery has a racist foundation. ltr whines about racsm while defending China’s practice of slavery.

      1. JohnH

        MacroDuck sure loves his propagnda. He wants you to believe that China is bad, bad, bad.

        Naturallly China responds to US human rights accusations by pointing out that the US leads the world in incarceration- 4% of the world’s population, 22% of the prisoners, something MacroDuck would never acknowledge.

        All the yapping in the world by the purveyors of US propaganda and those in their echo chamber-like MacoDuck–is unlikely to change China’s behavior.

        But if MacroDuck and his ilk spent more time on trying to clean up US human rights abuses, they might be able to improve the situation. After all, this is supposedly our government and the citizenry can supposedly force change. But MacroDuck and his ilk don’t care about that…but they sure love demonizing China and anyone else the US government chooses to criticize.

        1. AndrewG


          Name one thing wrong with the UN assessment of forced labor in China.

          Not “it’s biased.” You’re not ltr, you don’t get that. Give us one statement of fact that is for good reasons disputable.

    3. AndrewG

      Do you have any evidence to suggest that the analysis is false, besides claiming that it is biased and a part of a plot to destroy an entire country?

      To be taken seriously among thoughtful people, you need to answer this sincerely. Claims of bias and global conspiracies are the stuff of Trump supporters. Facts matter. Thoughtful people respect facts and good analysis.

      Are you posting this stuff only out of anger? You should seriously, honestly consider the possibility, and whether or not it’s a good idea — for your own sakes’.

  9. ltr

    August 19, 2022

    A man’s efforts to help develop China’s highest county

    LHASA — Although it had been a month since he was in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, Liang Nanyu often had dreams about being on the vast prairie in Tsonyi County of northern Tibet.

    “Several times when I woke up, it took me a while to remember that I was in Beijing, and not in Tsonyi,” said Liang.

    Liang, from the Beijing-based China National Petroleum Corporation, spent six years in Tsonyi helping develop the county, under the policy of China’s pairing-up assistance program for Tibet.

    Under the policy, some central state organs, provincial-level regions including Beijing and Shanghai, and centrally administered state-owned enterprises were tasked with providing assistance to specific areas of Tibet.

    With an average altitude of over 5,000 meters, Tsonyi County is China’s highest county, where oxygen in the air is a mere 40 percent of that on the plain. Its winter lasts 10 months, with the lowest temperatures reaching minus 40 degrees Celsius.

    Liang still remembers when he first arrived in the county in 2016. After just a month, he had lost over 5 kg due to severe high-altitude sickness, which includes insomnia and headaches.

    “Life was so hard there, but I decided to make my hard life meaningful,” he said.

    Being appointed as executive deputy head of Tsonyi, within two months, he visited all the townships and villages, finding that local residents had few industries to generate income.

    After a series of investigations, with the help of his colleagues, he found that a lake in the county was rich in artemia cysts, or brine shrimp eggs, with an excellent hatching rate. The brine shrimp eggs are known as a highly nutritious food source for fish, shrimp and crabs.

    Liang insisted on living in a lakeside tent for more than 10 days, surveying the feasibility of developing the brine shrimp egg industry….

    1. JohnH

      Funny! Chinese behavior is all about hegemonic ambition…but US behavior is all about freedom, democracy, and human rights.

      MacroDuck is confused, very confused. But he sure does love to parrot US propaganda!

      1. pgl

        I see – you think we are about to invade mainland China. No? Then you are just blowing smoke. Someone should call your mom and ask her why little Johnny boy never bothered to grow up.

  10. ltr

    August 17, 2022

    How China is leading in global energy transition
    By Tim Buckley

    Climate Energy Finance has often written about how China is leading the world by driving the scaling-up of zero emissions industries of the future. Building an unrivaled supply chain capacity, learning by doing and enhancing new technologies is creating a powerhouse of knowledge and capacity. This spans renewable energy and hydropower generation plus smart grid integration, batteries and electric vehicles, and most recently green hydrogen. Heavy industry decarbonization plans are being formulated, with ambitious targets proposed.

    The right structures and ecosystems are needed to reinforce and develop this lower emissions industrial development and scaling-up in line with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “achieving carbon neutrality before 2060” pledge. Enormous progress has been made, but with climate warming impacts accelerating world-wide in 2022, ambitions need to be raised.

    China is already the world leader in producing renewable energy, with 328 gigawatts (GW) of wind and 306 GW of solar power capacity installed as of the end of 2021, equivalent to 40 percent and 30 percent of the global total, respectively.

    China is on track to install over 150 GW of new capacity, five times the record 30 GW of renewable capacity the U.S. is set to install in 2022. China could well install 55-60 GW of wind in 2022 alone, more than the world installed as recently as 2019. And with the five major utilities of China all mandated to have renewables exceed 50 percent of total installed capacity by 2025, this momentum is set to continue.

    Bloomberg NEF in August, 2022, reported * that China’s renewables investment for the first half of 2022 included large-scale solar totaling $41 billion – up 173 percent from the year before – and investment in new wind projects increased by 107 percent year-on-year to $58 billion. This is staggering momentum, a point often overlooked when Western commentators report that China is still building new coal mines and coal-fired power plants.

    In the newer sector of growing global aspirations for green hydrogen (hydrogen produced via electrolysis of water using renewable energy), China is again way out front.

    Sinopec in November, 2021, launched construction of the world’s largest green hydrogen electrolysis plant in Kuqa of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. At 260 GW nameplate capacity (20,000 tonnes per annum), this is 13 times the largest operating green hydrogen plant outside of China….

    1. ltr

      August 2, 2022

      Renewable Energy Sector Defies Supply Chain Challenges to Hit a Record First-Half For New Investment

      China posted remarkable investment growth in both wind and solar project finance. The country’s large-scale solar investments totaled $41 billion in 1H 2022, up 173% from the year before. It also invested $58 billion in new wind projects, up 107% year-on-year….

  11. ltr

    April 9, 2022

    While life expectancy is rebounding in parts of the world, white deaths drive a further U.S. drop.
    By Alex Lemonides

    Life expectancy in the United States continued to drop in 2021, while rebounding from the pandemic in many other high-income countries, according to a new preliminary analysis that found the U.S. decline was driven largely by deaths among white Americans.

    Life expectancy is the age to which newborns could expect to live if every year of life were identical to their birth year. In 2020, that expectation dropped sharply in the United States, as it did across many nations rocked by the pandemic. In 2021, as more and more people became vaccinated, many “peer nations” began to see life expectancies rebound, according to the new study, * which has not yet been peer-reviewed.

    The researchers — public health experts in Colorado, Virginia and Washington, D.C. — thought they would find a similar trajectory underway in the United States. But that wasn’t so. The study estimated that U.S. life expectancy continued to drop in 2021, by a total of 2.26 years from 2019….


  12. baffling

    i count 14 of 27 posts coming from ltr, mostly as links to chinese communist party propaganda sites. ltr, do you feel lucky to be living in a free nation, as opposed to china?

    1. pgl

      Careful – JohnH might attack you the way he is harassing MacroDuck. Not sure what his game is as I am sure ltr is not exactly ready to go on a date with this clownish troll.

  13. David O'Rear

    In my four decades keeping a professional eye on the China-Taiwan situation, I can confirm that every single crisis is the most risky, the least well-understood, and the on-the-brink-of-disaster one. That is, until the next one comes along.

    When the analysts’ job requires regular reports on a very wide variety of factors and indicators, incidents such as Speaker Pelosi’s visit provide a shiny new peg on which to hang the same analysis that would have been written a week earlier, albeit with fresh new injections of urgency.

    I’m not saying this isn’t a major threat to world peace, just that it is yet another major threat.

    We don’t know what will motivate the Politburo Standing Committee to overrule the Military Affairs Commission’s inherent caution, and order the launching of a war that China probably cannot win. What we do know is that no crisis should ever be wasted on mere foreign policy, when the much more important domestic side can be usefully manipulated, I mean “managed.”

    No one wants to see a messy change in the status quo, not the various Taiwanese parties nor the Communist factions. But, there is always a risk that someone decides that the chance is too good, or the risk of doing nothing is too high, and that launching a war – win or lose – is better than not.

    Fifth column? Horse feathers. There is no one on Taiwan who wants any Mainland authority to have the least bit of say over any aspect of the island’s life or sovereignty. There is no fertile ground upon which to sow those seeds.

    Two last thoughts:
    1. If you tell me what outcome you would like to achieve, I’d be happy to devise an index to match your wishes.
    2. Munich, 1938, taught us to stand up to bullies early and often.

    1. AndrewG

      I appreciate your post (while I agree with Macroduck that we should still at least try to do this political forecasting stuff, even if it’s very hard to do well).

      1. David O'Rear

        I’ve been trying to predict what the PBSC would do since 1979. Hit and miss results, but the broad trends continued very well, right up until Xi Jinping decided he liked being on top.

        Now, we have to start from a new perspective, one that takes into account an entire generation of leaders who had their hopes of promotion dashed.
        Will they continue to go along, or will they seize the first opportunity to lower the boom on Mr. Xi.

        Li Zhanshu is either content to be just one of many aides-de-camp, or biding his time.
        Ding Xuexiang is either Xi Jinping’s successor, or the next candidate for deputy party secretary of Lhasa.

  14. Bruce Hall

    Questions for all of the world’s leading strategists on this site:
    Will the US be in a weaker or stronger geopolitical position if the US moves toward economic disengagement with China?
    • Will the US have more or less leverage over China and vice versa?
    • Will China be more or less aggressive in the Pacific region and will the US be more or less aggressive in countering China?
    • Will China have less access to Western technology or continue to have access at the current levels?
    • Will the US be able to replace Chinese sourced products or will current shortages continue and accelerate?
    • Will China’s economy decline; will the US economy be disrupted and current inflation seem mild?

    1. AndrewG

      Questions for the world’s leading strategist on this site who is also a white supremacist:

      * Did you consider any of this while supporting Trump’s costly trade wars? Or did you just come up with all this now?

    2. pgl

      Your questions are all nonsensical gibberish. Let’s take the first one that you choose to put in italics:

      Will the US be in a weaker or stronger geopolitical position if the US moves toward economic disengagement with China?

      WTF does economic disengagement even mean? Maybe you are talking about Trump’s stupid trade war which had bad consequences for the US economy. Or Trump’s stupid attempt to dismantle our foreign policy ties with our own allies.

      Brucie – I trust you know Kelly Anne has been rather drunk of late when she sends you lines that you must parrot.

      1. Bruce Hall


        Wow! You have no idea what “economic disengagement” means? Under what theoretical economics rock have you been sleeping? Countries do that all of the time relative to other countries that have agendas antithetical to theirs.

        It’s not a difficult concept… for most people.

  15. David O'Rear

    Mr Hall,

    Government is the wrong perspective.

    The US won’t decide whether or not to economically disengage from China; companies – some of them even have headquarters in America! – will make that decision. That will do nothing for the United States Government’s leverage over China, since it will be largely out of government hands.

    China’s access to US technology is wholly dependent on the West continuing with an open, capitalistic socioeconomic model. If we publish patents, someone in China will use them. If companies that own desired technology can be bought, someone in China will buy them. Again, it won’t necessarily be the Chinese government.

    And, trade balances are both corporate and multi-lateral.

    1. pgl

      I tend to agree but let’s ponder the tables Brucie boy choose to present. We did import less from China in 2019 which is attributable to that incredibly stupid Trump trade war. And these imports fell even more in 2020 when Trump’s ignoring COVID sent the US economy war down. But note we are importing more since Biden became President thanks to a strong economic recovery.

      So policy does matter a bit. Trump’s horrific policies mattered and the Biden recovery matters.

      Oh wait – this is not the message Kelly Anne wanted Brucie to paint. Oh well – she has been drunk of late.

      1. Bruce Hall

        Sometimes trading less with a potential adversary is the intelligent approach. Just ask Europe now how their reliance on Russia is working out.

      1. David O'Rear

        Mr Hall,

        US MNCs do pretty much what they want to, and the GOP does pretty much what US MNCs want them to do. Yes, things change under He Who Should Not Be Named, but that’s far more about domestic issues than global trade policy. Until the missiles fly, don’t expect the US Government to make it illegal to trade with China.

        China-based export factories provide about 18-20% of US merchandise imports, a number that hasn’t changed much in the past 15 years. At least half of that total used to be supplied by other parts of North-east Asia.

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