A look back to a year ago, November 15, John Batchelor Show podcast: "Best of Gregory Copley: PRC depopulation and disorder and what is to be done"
If the idea of a depopulated China seems surprising -- their 'one child' policy was short-sighted. Now they're running out of productive workers to support their huge export economy. Meaning they're having to support a burdegening elderly population with labor, and food and water resources, they don't have.
As to how long they've got before it all falls apart -- maybe a decade; 15-20 years if Beijing can pull more rabbits out of the hat. Provided they don't have to eat the rabbits Pundita be nice. The point is that Beijing is well-aware of the looming crisis, which makes the government more dangerous by the year.
I have only one quibble with Gregory's analysis, or a question. He names Iran as one of the countries that China might get food from. From what I know of the situation, Iran's water problems are if anything worse than China's. I don't see how those people can feed themselves -- unless they plan to subsist on dates -- let alone export agriculture produce in significant amounts, which I think explains the large diaspora from Iran into Iraq. That has touched off even more water problems in Iraq, which is also water challenged. And so it goes. Falling dominoes.
In any case, the situation for China is even worse than Gregory explains in the November 2017 discussion, although it's a 'don't miss' because he and John, with Gordon Chang adding commentary, analyze the economic and political ramifications. The following March 21, 2017 Pundita post, which I based on a conversation between John and Gregory the night before, is another window on China's race to the bottom:
"Seventy to ninety percent of China's water table is polluted. Polluted water table, polluted food."
The quote is from Gregory Copley's March 20 discussion on the John Batchelor radio show about President Xi Jinping's planned visit with President Donald Trump, to occur perhaps as early as April.
Gregory's overview of China's food security crisis is from the 7:11 to 10:09 minute mark on the podcast for the segment.
As to what Xi is doing about the crisis, as much as possible, which isn't saying much. Cleaning up a water table for a single small region is a very lengthy and expensive process; doing the same for a nation is an almost unthinkable undertaking. There will have to be leaps in technology to pull it off; China will need to become a large importer of food in the meantime.
For a graphic introduction to China's water pollution crisis, which hasn't gotten nearly as much attention in the international press as the air pollution, see: China admits pollution brought about 'cancer villages'; RT, February 2013.
Here, taken from Google, are headlines related to the above discussion:
Jun 28, 2011 - Food must be imported and water use tightly regulated to protect ... northern plains or aquifers will diminish to a "dire" level in 30 years, ... This is increasingly made up from underground sources, which account for 70% of water supplies. .... Thousands of ships could dump pollutants at sea to avoid dirty fuel ...
Apr 11, 2016 - Over 80 percent of the water from underground wells across China's plains is unfit for drinking because of contamination, according to statistics ...
Feb 18, 2014 - China to spend $330 billion to fight water pollution -paper ... generate nearly 70 percent of its electricity while self-sufficiency in food remains a ...
Oct 10, 2013 - The water table under the capital has dropped by 300 metres ... As if that were not bad enough, China is polluting what little water it has left.
May 8, 2008 - Pollution and global warming threaten Asia's most important freshwater source ... activities are producing record levels of air and water pollution in Tibet. .... An estimated 70 percent of China's rivers are polluted, leaving an estimated 300 ...