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《2024關於中國5個預測》評論
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帕麥爾先生以下關於2024中國動向的5個分析和預測,基本上可稱平實請見本欄第二篇

1) 台海小型危機
2)
房地產價格疲軟
3)
領導階層大搬風 
4)
年輕族群前途暗淡
5)
美關係不死不活

愚見認為:

1)  
台海小型危機

中國領導人在台灣大選後一定「照例」發表充滿火藥味的談話或宣示;繼之以武力顯示和軍事演習。但限於目前中、美實力仍然被「五五波」這個框框套牢,我相信:所謂「台海小型危機」可以視為春節前的煙火大戲。

2) 房地產價格疲軟

這一方面我不熟悉,自然不便多嘴。但是,由於大部份民眾並非投資客;也很少人會急著拋售變現;這個情況雖然勢必打擊人民信心,但不至於動搖國本

3) 領導階層大搬風 

就現有訊息來看:秦剛虧在褲檔栓得不緊;李尚福敗於爪子伸得太長。因此,我認為帕麥爾先生的判斷有點過敏,他這個預測應該不會成真。當然,如果中紀委繼續偵破貪腐大案,習總想必不會手軟。

4) 年輕族群前途灰暗

這是當前事實而不是未來預測。不只如此,中國領導階層在處理這個議題上必須了解:他們面對的不再是過去的順民;而是決定中國未來的主人翁。以往的高壓手段效用將非常低。用白話文來說,這一代人的武器不是竹竿而是電腦

5) 美關係不死不活

這是一個會成為事實的預測。在中、美實力屬於五五波這個框框下,只用膝蓋想的人都不至於造次。就怕美國人選出川普這個半瘋子加半白癡;但這也是到2025再傷腦筋事了

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2024關於中國5個預測-James Palmer
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5 Predictions for China in 2024

From a small crisis with Taiwan to growing youth disillusionment, here’s what China likely faces next year.

James Palmer, 12/26/23

The 2020s so far feel like China’s lost decade: The economy is slowing down, young people are disillusioned and jobless, and their parents are watching the value of their property crumble. An insecure but still dominant President Xi Jinping sits at the top of everything. It’s been a difficult year for Beijing, and the next one isn’t looking much happier. Below, we rounded up five predictions for China in 2024.

1. A Taiwan Mini-Crisis

Taiwan holds a presidential election on Jan. 13, and the year could start with a small crisis in the straits. Current Taiwanese Vice President Lai Ching-te, who serves under President Tsai Ing-wen and is a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), holds a narrow lead in the polls. His election would ire Beijing; he is an advocate for a more independent Taiwan and strongly opposed to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Although Lai has said he won’t call for formal Taiwanese independence or drop the 
Republic of China name—a red line for Beijing—he has also said that Taiwan’s sovereignty is “a fact” and reminded his fellow candidates that by Beijing’s standards, they are all pro-independence.

A Lai victory would likely prompt aggressive moves from Beijing, including naval maneuvers and airspace intrusions. 
Reports last week about comments made by Xi to U.S. President Joe Biden about reunification with Taiwan when they met in November stirred some panic in Washington, but an invasion remains highly unlikely. It would be risky and difficult, especially when China is struggling with other crises.

Even a victory for Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang (KMT) on Jan. 13 may cause some problems. The KMT is more pro-China than the DPP, but it would hardly hand the keys to the island over to Beijing. Chinese officials might overestimate the significance of a KMT election win, seeing it as a sign of China’s influence in Taiwan. Although 
17 percent of Taiwanese voters said in a recent survey that China is their main concern, more than twice that number picked the economy.

2. Growing Property Woes

Housing prices in China have teetered on the brink for years, and 2024 could be the year they finally go over the edge. The crisis among property developers this year was bad enough, reaching firms once considered to be relatively safe, such as 
Country Garden. There are many more failed real estate projects out there, but the thing that the Chinese government really fears is a dip in housing prices; after all, 70 percent of Chinese household assets are invested in property.

The government has 
fiddled with data and threatened commentators in what seems to be an effort to stop people from talking about how bad the Chinese economy is really doing. There is now a big discrepancy between official housing price indexes and what real estate will actually fetch on the market; prices are sliding by at least 15 percent in many cities and by as much as 30 percent in Beijing.

As these trends spread, even the official numbers may have to better acknowledge reality, which would cause a much wider crisis of confidence.


3. Political Leadership Shake-ups

A couple of high-level Chinese leaders fell in 2023, namely Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Defense Minister Li Shangfu. The full story of both dismissals remains opaque, but the politics of the CCP’s top leadership feels volatile going into the new year—despite Xi packing the top posts with 
loyalists last year.

That is hardly surprising: Xi is competent at party politics, but his rule has been 
bad for China, especially in the past three years. Mandatory adoration can’t stop him from feeling insecure—or from recognizing that many people blame him for the state of the country. That insecurity also affects the rest of the leadership, whose lives, wealth, and freedom depend on Xi’s whims. All this tension is likely to produce dramatic politics next year.

For all the talk of factions and allies, CCP politics in some ways resembles the 
dynamics of organized crime; when the knives come out, friendships don’t matter. If there ever is a significant move against Xi, it may come from the people he’s promoted and sponsored.

4. Youth Disillusionment

Last week, Associated Press reporter Dake Kang 
shared a pair of Weibo messages to his account that captured the public mood change in China in the last three years. In June 2020, a stranger messaged him, “Get the fuck out of China.” This month, the same account wrote simply, “I’m sorry.”

Many young people in China have taken the same path in the past few years. Nationalistic education primed them for the feelings of 
pride and triumph that came with an apparent victory over COVID-19 in the summer of 2020, when China returned to relative normality while the rest of the world took shelter. That feeling merged with greater hostility toward the West, especially the United States, with pandemic conspiracy theories taking hold that blamed the United States.

But frustration with China’s zero-COVID policy in 2021 and 2022, mixed with the economic crisis, have left the public, and especially the young, feeling very differently. One sign of this shift is that Chinese public opinion of the United States has 
risen sharply—a coded way of expressing discontent with Beijing’s course. In 2024, pessimism about the futurealready clear at the beginning of the decade, is only likely to get worse.

The deflation of popular nationalism and dire economic prospects for young graduates seem to be 
contributing to a rise in depression among 18-to-24-year-olds in China. Youth disappointment and anger exploded in December 2022, when China experienced its largest mass protests in years against the zero-COVID policy. That isn’t likely next year, but cynicism and a desire to flee to other countries—among those with the resources to do so—will continue to fuel so-called runology in 2024.

One of the main reasons for the CCP’s swing into crushing dissidents a decade ago was the belief that the party was 
losing young people. The government’s response to this new bitterness will be to insist on more displays of compulsory patriotism and greater censorship of online spaces. (2023 is ending with another set of gaming restrictions.) There is little ability to offer young Chinese the kind of future they want.

5. No Collapse in U.S.-China Relations, but No Recovery Either

The successful summit between Xi and Biden in San Francisco in November, which both sides seem to 
have regarded as a victory, provided a temporary cooling-off period for a relationship that was heading downhill for years. Significantly, that has included a resumption of high-level military talks between Beijing and Washington. In Chinese state media, anti-U.S. rhetoric remains relatively muted—although still a constant.

Don’t expect that to last. Structural tensions between the two powers are intense enough that some new crisis will inevitably cause China to revert to so-called 
wolf warrior mode, especially since it’s such an easy way for Chinese diplomats to advance their own careers. But the posture is not likely to reach the heights of 2020; China has enough other problems to avoid risking too much trouble for a while.

There are always concerns that anti-China rhetoric in Washington will gum up the relationship during an election year. But the truth is that U.S. voters don’t seem to care about China at the 
ballot box. The real danger may be Chinese attempts at election interference, likely geared toward specific politicians in areas with high numbers of ethnically Chinese voters—but possibly following a pro-Donald Trump line.

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Ukraine Braces for Political Disaster in 2024 by Oz Katerji

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