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China Faces Make-or-Break Moment, Says Forecaster of Japan Slide

  • NYU's Smith says China needs much deeper economic reforms
  • Smith in October 1990 forecast Japan's steep decline
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Is China Reaching a Make-or-Break Moment?

China’s decades of rapid development under tight Communist Party control may be coming to an end, according to Roy Smith, the New York University academic who as a banker in 1990 anticipated Japan’s decline.

"China has now arrived at an existential moment after nearly 40 years of extraordinary economic progress," said Smith, who also warned about budding Japan-like financial strains ahead of the Chinese stock rout in 2015. The country’s "increasingly complex and troubled economic and social system with all its scarcities" will make it tougher for Communist cadres to manage, he said.