The Kremlin's Nightmare Scenario


Allow me to flesh out Thomas Lifson's very perceptive point about the de—population of Siberia, and Russia's growing concerns about hanging onto its oil:

Russia covers one—sixth of the earth's land surface, and its birth rate is so low that by 2050, the population of Russia will be smaller than the population of Yemen.  How you maintain control of a country as large as Russia with a population that small is hard to imagine.

Meanwhile, next door in China — whose thirst for oil is growing rapidly — so many female fetuses have been aborted that the normal human ratio of 103 boys for every 100 girls has shifted to 118 boys for every 100 girls in China.  In some provinces today it's 128 boys for every 100 girls.  What this means in real numbers is that today there are 70 million boys growing up in China — yes, 70 million — who will never be able to find wives.  This is unprecedented in history. [ed. — see also this article]

It's a human tragedy, of course — and one the women's movement in the West has not bothered to notice — but it's also a political issue.  To put it bluntly, 70 million unmarried men on Saturday night is big trouble.  It's likely that the Chinese government will try to cope, at least partly, by drafting many of these men into its army.

So, you have a gigantic Chinese army in a country thirsty for oil, with a neighboring country rich in oil but without sufficient manpower to protect its territory.

This is the Kremlin's nightmare scenario, and no one has the slightest idea how it will play out.

Herb Meyer    9 18 05