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"OR China has the policy flexibility to engineer a soft landing"

They certainly have the political infrastructure to engineer an outcome, however, soft or hard doesn't begin to describe what may happen.

The Chinese are building out energy infrastructure throughout Central Asia, establishing trade relations with resource rich African nations, and aligning countries on their periphery with their national interests by providing aid and exerting soft and hard power. When the current configuration of their economy collapses, which it will, they'll be in a position to rebuild or face internal revolution.

I'm assuming Chinese leadership, who for all their faults are at the least well versed in tested and proven methodologies of governance, will attempt to unify the country around an existential threat -- The United States of America. The Communist Party of China will sell the Han ethnic group -- the idea that they'll minimize conflict amongst different interest groups in society in order to maintain stability on the national level is an absolute joke considering the demographics -- war as necessary for future development, social welfare, national ascendency, and increased prosperity.

The basic premise that it is possible for the state to engineer development through strict and nationalist governance. I believe the human race has gone down this road before, if I'm not mistaken that conflicted ended with the Atomic bombing of two Japanese cities.

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