China's Future: Neither Boom Nor Bust

Like Japan, the country appears headed for a period of genteel decline.

A date with demographic destiny is rapidly approaching.

Photographer: ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

The debate over how China’s economy might evolve over the next decade generally breaks down into two opposing cases. Bulls are confident that Chinese leaders will make the hard reforms needed to clean up local government debt, reform state companies, open more markets to private-sector competition and liberalize the financial sector. This should enable China to achieve another 10-15 years of rapid growth. Bears are equally convinced that the government will fail to enact any real reforms, provoking either a drastic plunge in economic growth or an outright financial crisis.

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