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China will collapse in 2031: retired Taiwan diplomat

Succession struggle will lead to chaos: Rex Wang

Rex Wang and his book, "China Will Collapse In 2031."

Rex Wang and his book, "China Will Collapse In 2031."

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A century of authoritarianism with rising nationalism and an emphasis on central control will eventually lead to a power struggle for the succession which will destroy China, former Taiwan News editor-in-chief Rex Wang (王世榕) writes in his book “China Will Collapse in 2031.”

In his work, the former Taiwanese envoy to Switzerland relates how China now relies on “debt imperialism” to expand its power and influence over other countries. After Wang’s book was published, a similar analysis was made by United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who accused China of practicing a new form of colonialism by making other countries reliant on its investment. Local economies suffered in the process, and Tillerson compared the practice to the European colonialism of five centuries ago.

On the surface, the Chinese loans and aid were unconditional, Wang said, but in the end they had a negative influence on the local workforce, provoking more and more protests in the countries supposedly benefiting from China’s economic influence.

While facing increased foreign challenges, on the domestic scene, China had not really changed after 100 years of modern development, with an imperial court still at the top and the masses down below, Wang wrote. He quoted the example of the anti-Japanese riots of 2012, when mobs attacked and looted Japanese-owned stores and factories, as well as China’s continuing campaign against Taiwan Independence.

In an interview with The Taiwan News, Wang related how China had continued to be ruled by an authoritarian regime which concentrated power in its hands, experiencing no period of reforms such as the Enlightenment in Europe. The national interest was primordial, and there was no evidence nor rational thought required, any words from those in power had to be obeyed.

The present regime’s emphasis on Confucian values could also be interpreted in this way, Wang said, as they stressed faithfulness, obedience and conformity. A Confucian had to conform and adapt himself to fit inside the community, in a world view which allowed for the support of authoritarianism and therefore was well suited to the present political system.

The book “China Will Collapse in 2031” sees rising tension in the run-up to the 22th Communist Party Congress to be scheduled for that year. Internal succession struggles were likely to tear the party and society apart, Wang predicted.

The author worked for the International Labor Organization, taught at university, and during six years as Taiwan’s representative to Switzerland, he succeeded in having billions in New Taiwan dollars returned to the country following the solution of the Lafayette frigate scandal.