Author Topic: Everyone warns of China’s rise. But its decline could be even worse  (Read 1872 times)


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Everyone warns of China’s rise. But its decline could be even worse.
“It’s frightening to think about,” a prominent scholar said.
By Alex  Dec 12, 2018, 2:00pm EST

TOKYO — Most Western predictions about the future of China’s rise are ominous, ranging from theories about how the country will perfect an authoritarian society to how it will serve as a model for a less free future.

But while reporting in Japan on Wednesday, I heard the most troubling prediction about China yet — and it was actually about the country’s decline.

“If the central government runs out of money, then they’re in trouble,” Akio Takahara, one of Japan’s leading scholars on China, told US-based reporters. “If you talk to the Chinese people, they’ll tell you that this [system of government] cannot last forever. So someday there will be a big change, but they don’t know when, they don’t know how, or what the process will be,” Takahara said.

And, he added, it won’t necessarily be peaceful.

There are two worrying things packed into that analysis, so let’s take each in turn.

First, on the surface it seems impossible that China — the world’s second-strongest economy — would run out of cash any time soon. But there are signs that China is undergoing a significant slowdown, partially because of President Donald Trump’s trade war.

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