A hot air balloon over Tianjin, China, July 2017. 
STRINGER / REUTERS

Few countries command as much attention as China. That is not surprising. Its remarkable economic rise is shaking the world’s geopolitical balance even as it raises questions about the universality of market-led capitalism and democratic norms. In turn, China has become a lightning rod for all manner of anxiety. The White House has blamed China for the United States’ huge trade deficits, for example, even though there is no direct causal relationship between such deficits and China’s surpluses. In fact, there are several things about China that U.S. analysts get wrong.

It isn’t hard to understand

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