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The Middling Kingdom

The Hype and the Reality of China’s Rise

Courtesy Reuters

By any measure, China's economic growth has been unprecedented, even miraculous. According to the International Monetary Fund, the Chinese economy grew by an average of 9.6 percent per year between 1990 and 2010. At the beginning of the recent global financial crisis, many feared that the Chinese growth engine would grind to a halt. In late 2008, Chinese exports collapsed, triggering fears of political instability and popular revolt in the country. In the end, however, the global economic crisis turned out to be little more than a pothole on the road of China's economic growth. Inflationary pressures may now be building up in China, and China's property bubble may be threatening to burst, but most economists continue to predict rapid growth for the country well into the future. Although their forecasts vary widely, they seem to share the view that China's growth will be fast -- if not as fast as it has been

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