The optimists' case for China is fairly straightforward. Yes, the world's second-largest economy is grinding to its slowest pace in decades. But as investment and manufacturing -- traditionally the key drivers of Chinese growth -- decline in importance, domestic consumption and services are playing a bigger role: For the first time, services accounted for just over 50 percent of GDP last year.
This much-desired rebalancing should move China toward a far more sustainable growth model. New economy companies in technology, health-care, finance and retail are more productive and less polluting than smokestack industries. Robust consumption -- rail traffic is growing at 10 percent as Chinese spend more on leisure travel, while mobile Internet traffic has doubled -- is key to weaning the economy off its addiction to investment. As unproductive coal mines and steel factories shed workers, labor-intensive services should pick up the slack.