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Why China Surpassing America’s Economy Isn’t a Sure Thing

Beijing faces economic and demographic challenges that make its ascendance less certain than the conventional wisdom.

Daily Life In Shanghai Ahead of China Census
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

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China’s climb to the top of world economic rankings is considered a foregone conclusion in many circles, especially those inside the Chinese Communist Party. But all is not assured: Beijing faces economic and demographic challenges that make surpassing the U.S. less of a no-brainer than one might think.