It was significant but not astonishing news last week that China has eclipsed Japan as the world’s second-largest economy
More surprising is that the great economic strides have given rise to uncertainty about China’s prospects.
Can China hope to maintain its torrid growth, avoiding more of the social upheaval hinted at when sporadic riots broke out among furloughed factory workers during the Great Recession? Can a traditionally frugal 5,000-year-old society transform itself into a consumer economy like the U.S.? Or will continued reliance on exports culminate in the economic stagnation endured by Japan these past two decades?