Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is China facing an American future?

Posted by Michael Schuman

t first glance, that may sound like a crazy question. The two giants of the global economy appear to be heading in opposite directions. China is the world's up-and-coming superpower, propelled forward by stratospheric growth, advancing industry, a goal-oriented political system and a supposedly superior form of economic management, “state capitalism.” On the other side of the Pacific, the U.S. looks like a bumbling behemoth, its competitiveness on the wane, its political system paralyzed and its future direction uncertain. What could these two economies possibly have in common?

More than you think. Very rapidly, China is beginning to encounter the same economic pressures as the U.S. Some are simply the natural outgrowth of China's supercharged development. Others are being brought about by policy errors – similar, in fact, to those made by the West before the 2008 financial crisis. All of these new pressures are serious and, if not handled properly, could alter the course of China's economic progress.

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