No, it’s not the fact that they’ve got 1.3 billion people to feed (although that is a problem). The problem, as outlined nicely in this article by Mara Hvistendahl in the New Republic, is that, in the next ten years or so, there will be far too many men who can’t find wives. From the piece:
In the 2020s, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences researcher Zheng Zhenzhen, estimates in a People’s Daily interview that 10 percent of Chinese men will be unable to find wives…
Obviously, this is a huge potential social problem. But what is genuinely frightening is that the anger of these men – which might normally be directed at the state and it’s one child policy – could likely (do you want to take bets on this?) be turned outward. Taiwan, Japan, and, of course, America being the likely targets. We already know that the Chinese government will be ruthless in maintaining control. But given the sheer numbers here (my rough estimate, at least 100 million men), only a war, organized extermination, or if they’re lucky, famine and disease, could keep all that testosterone in check.
Which outcome do you think is most likely?