The New York Times has a recent piece on the surprising loyalty of Chinese young people to the government, especially its actions in Tibet. (They do have a point that China is treating its “aborigines” better than the Americans treated theirs.)
This is not just a problem in China. Because growth in one’s capability of information processing (CIP) is a trajectory, and populations are generally similar in the distribution across the developmental trajectories, younger populations will necessarily have a shorter time-horizon than older ones. America’s retirees may put this to the test on a regular basis, of course, but it should still hold at least to middle age (when we see declines in modes “1” & “2”).
Burgeoning population = short-sighted population. Short-sighted population may be more likely to tackle a large expeditionary war. (Relative to its size of population and economy, America’s expeditionary war in Iraq wasn’t much of an effort.) The current state of the “Palestinian problem” is in part screwed up because of this skew: too many people under the age of 25. As I said at the Global Workforce Management roundtable in New York, there’s a better than even chance that China will go to war with someone in the next ten years, if Pakistan and India don’t beat them to the next land war in Asia. Having a massively young population may make it hard to deter.
But what can you do?