As the Bear Dies, the Dragon Sharpens its Claws
Recent decades, most notably since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, have seen an appalling deterioration in the health of the Russian population, anchoring Russia not in the forefront of developed countries but among the most backward of nations.The demographics of Russia is all wrong, if the Bear wishes to defend its vast and rich territory. As the population of Russians shrinks, neighbors in Muslim Central Asia and China gaze hungrily at the increasingly poorly guarded wealth.
....According to U.N. figures, the average life expectancy for a Russian man is 59 years -- putting the country at about 166th place in the world longevity sweepstakes, one notch above Gambia....Three times as many Russians die from heart-related illnesses as do Americans or Europeans, per each 100,000 people.
Tuberculosis deaths in Russia are about triple the World Health Organization's definition of an epidemic, which is based on a new-case rate of 50 cases per 100,000 people.
Average alcohol consumption per capita is double the rate the WHO considers dangerous to one's health.
About 1 million people in Russia have been diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, according to WHO estimates.
Using mid-year figures, it's estimated that 25 percent more new HIV/AIDS cases will be recorded this year than were logged in 2007.
...On the other end of the lifeline, the news isn't much better. Russia's birth rate has been declining for more than a decade, and even a recent increase in births will be limited by the fact that the number of women age 20 to 29 (those responsible for two-thirds of all babies) will drop markedly in the next four or five years to mirror the 50 percent drop in the birth rate in the late 1980s and the 1990s. And, sadly, the health of Russia's newborns is quite poor, with about 70 percent of them experiencing complications at birth. _WaPo
China certainly has the population to move into the empty Russian steppe. And the CCP leaders are building a formidable military--not just talking about it like Putin. By the time the death of Russia becomes glaringly apparent to even the most chauvinistic Russophile, China will be ready to make one of its moves to expand its territory and resources. America is also in China's sights. But Russia is closer, and will soon be a softer target.
“Chinese military modernization is proceeding at a rate to be of concern even with the most benign interpretation of China’s motivation.” That’s for sure. China discloses only a small part of its military budget, but the trend of expenditures is clear. This year will see the 18th announced double-digit increase in military spending in the last 19 years. _PJMChina and Russia have assisted each other in countering American diplomatic efforts internationally. But their alliance reminds one more than a little, of the alliance between Hitler and Stalin. We remember how that turned out.