You remember that Belt & Road Initiative? The outreach to underdeveloped, but resource-rich countries, that had China promising to build infrastructure in return for money and control of their resources?
A lot of people – me included – were very concerned about that effort. If it succeeded, wide swaths of Africa and South America were going to fall to Communism.
It seemed to be a tidal wave of change that was unstoppable.
So much for the Tidal Wave. The Ecuadorian projects is the one referenced in the WSJ article, but it is just:
one of many Chinese-financed projects around the world plagued with construction flaws.
Ace goes on to comment:
OG Moron Tmi3rd notes that there is “a Chinese phrase called “cha bu duo”, or “good enough”. There’s a tolerance for slop in China that, although intended to be pragmatic, has pervaded their culture in a destructive way. I think that’s what you’re seeing here. “ Such a thing is not unknown, Arab countries struggle with the same kind of thing – Inshallah. The building will stay up if Allah wills it may not be the most efficient approach to engineering. All those huge projects you see built by oil money across the middle east are at the very least designed by western firms, and usually built by them too.
There is further information at Ace of Spades, including information about the current state of the Three Gorges Dam, and what failure of the dam would mean to China.
Basically, collapse of their civilization, and massive loss of lives.
If I were in charge of a business outsourcing to China, I’d be working overtime to see that I had other options set up for production. Then, I’d start moving it to that new place, ASAP.
There is a HUGE market in medication production for any country that wants to provide some assistance in setting up factories manufacturing the basic materials that are the base for nearly all drugs. If a state wanted to take on the project, it would likely pay them back 10-fold or more. The only thing that would be essential is to KEEP CHINA OUT OF THAT PROJECT. Make all employees – from the top to the bottom – undergo extensive and ongoing security investigations.
20-odd years ago, that nation might have been Cuba, at least for most of the world. Fidel had announced that Cuba was going to become a world leader in biotech, courted foreign researchers and professors, ordered the colleges to start turning out biologists, chemists, and technicians, and ordered millions of dollars’ worth of equipment.
Then… nothing. Either it was quietly dropped, or, more likely, the money all evaporated in the cracks of Cuba’s Communist system.
Yeah, it doesn’t take long for totalitarian systems to run outta cash.
I’m convinced that’s why they periodically loosen the reins – to prod those with ambition (and, to be fair, more than a little thuggery and willingness to get into bed with the State) to amass a fortune.
Then, once they REALLY have a big pile, denounce them and confiscate it.
The insustainable nature of the massive ‘public projects’ is a major flaw in the system. The Three River Gorges Dam WILL fail – dramatically – and lead to massive loss of life. I wouldn’t be surprised that it fails in the next decade or less.
The leaders won’t worry overmuch about the loss of life, but loss of electric power is going to bring down their system. Not to mention that the most productive industrial locations are down-river from the Dam.
It’s too early. I’m just starting my first cuppa.