Things to Come

At Japan Times Yoichi Funabashi predicts how the world will look in 2050:

In the 2030s, the Chinese government will likely reorient the course of Xi Jinping’s policies to consolidate external hegemony and internal autocracy. Debt and population decline will drag the feet of China’s economic growth, and the government may prove unable to halt the overseas flight of Chinese elites.

By then, more states may have opted for and concentrated within the American system of alliances. The U.S. and India may forge a quasi-alliance in order to counter China, although Trump now seems to oblige India to distance itself from the U.S.

The populations of overseas Indians and Chinese will grow dramatically. The Malacca and Hormuz Straits will pose dilemmas for China and India respectively. Given the vulnerability of their energy supply and increased international business presence, both China and India will strengthen their offensive and hegemonic stances toward the rest of the world. Maritime tensions in the Indian and Pacific oceans will supplant land-based conflict in the Himalayan region as the focal point of Sino-Indian relations.

There’s a lot more. Much of what he predicts is based on the persistence theory. However the future may unfold I will not live to see 2050 and I find that gratifying. It doesn’t sound very appealing to me.

2 comments… add one
  • Andy Link

    Interesting for sure. However, these kinds of predictions usually don’t hold up well over time. That’s one reason I much prefer using scenario analysis in forecasting.

  • The problem that I have seen with scenario analysis are several. First, the identification of worst case scenarios is almost always overly optimistic. They rarely are imaginative enough to cover “black swan” events (that’s why they’re black swan events). And it’s rare that any empirical standards are applied to identifying the likelihood of the positive or negative risks actually happening.

    Nonetheless they’re better than the persistence theory.

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