History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Thursday, May 20, 2004


    For those of you who are interested in future world crises, there is one down the road that has received little attention thus far, Russian Population decline . Russia's population is decreasing, and the rate of decline appears to be increasing. Some possible reasons:
    Drug use, alcoholism and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are leading reasons for the decline, said Murray Feshbach, a senior scholar at the Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson Center.

    "It's mind-boggling, frankly," he said.

    About 15% of Russian couples are infertile, he said.

    And as many as 75% of women experience serious medical problems during pregnancy.

    The official fertility rate - understood as the average number of children a woman has between the ages of 15 and 49 - was 1.17 in 1999.

    The minimum rate for a population to replace itself is 2.5, Mr Feshbach said.

    Russia's declining population posses an enormous risk for one of the world's largest nations. In fact, I dare say President Putin is correct in stating that population decline is Russia's greatest threat at the moment, greater in fact, than the threat posed by Chechen terrorists. Siberia especially is at great risk. There are only a few million Russians living there now, and a huge number, possibly over a million, of illegal Chinese immigrants are there as well. And that number is increasing daily. Eventually there will be more Chinese immigrants than Russians, and that will spell the doom of Russian control of Siberia. Eventually there will be insufficient Russians to defend it from Chinese aggression, or to even maintain administrative control. China might not even need to openly move to annex the territory, Serbian Chinese could probably rebel against Moscow and try and seccede from the Russian Federation. It is uncertain whether or not Russia would be capable of resisting, given the current state of its military. It is possible the Russian military might recover by then, but in that case you would have Chechnya writ large. If China were to supply the rebels with enough arms a proxy war could emerge, and Russia could face serious problems. Especially if Chinese "Volunteers" were to help out the rebels.

    So where does the colonization part come in? Simple. China is slowly colonizing Siberia, and eventually it will displace the "native" Russian population. While some of the migration is probably a matter of free will, I have no doubt that the Chinese government is actively promoting the movement of Chinese people into Siberia. The People's Republic of China is a large country, but with over 1.5 billion people they need a great deal more space than they have now. While Siberia doesn't have a lot of habitable space, it does have some, and would alleviate China's problems a bit. Siberia also contains many natural resources that could prove invaluable to the growing Chinese economy. If I was the Russian President right now, I would be very, very worried. Doom is coming, and little can be done to avert it.

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