Things change fast these days, even on a global scale. Information and technology transfer moves at Mach 5 in the 21st century. So when people talk of the China Century, it sounds like an acoustic from the past. Thirty years ago we talked about Japan becoming the world’s economic dynasty. Yet, Japan has been fizzling for decades, its economy in a state of suspended animation.
Now comes China on what appears to be an inexorable path to the world’s largest economy (which, as home to the world’s largest population, only makes sense). Suddenly, though, China is looking unstable. Its growth rate is slowing, its real estate market is overinflated, corruption among the Communist Party faithful is rampant, construction and infrastructure projects are proving to often be ill-conceived and slipshod, citizen protests are erupting with greater frequency and ferocity, and China does not get along with its Asian neighbors.
I’ve been saying for a number