Posted by: mulrickillion | January 19, 2012

China’s Challenges

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They got old before they got rich

By Thomas Figar, Jan 17, 2012 —

Rising expectations in the face of increasing competition

For the past two decades China has been a poster child of successful globalization, integrating with the world and in the process lifting millions of citizens out of poverty. But China’s integration into the world economy and global trends both drive and constrain Beijing’s ability to manage growing social, economic and political challenges.

Global trends affect all nations, but China may be uniquely vulnerable to developments beyond its borders and beyond its control. Chinese leaders recognize the diversity and complexity of the challenges they face but appear determined to confront them individually and incrementally. How – and how well – they respond to those challenges will have significant consequences of China and the world.

Many of these challenges center on rising expectations in the face of increasing competition.

Thanks to a fortuitous combination of wise decisions and good timing, China has made phenomenal progress in the three decades since Deng Xiaoping launched the policy of reform and opening to the outside world in 1978.

More Chinese citizens live better today than ever before and many more expect to join the privileged ranks of the middle class. Aspirations and expectations have never been higher. That’s a very good situation to be in, but it also entails enormous challenges for China’s leaders because several trends indicate that meeting expectations could become increasingly difficult.

Specifically, China will find it increasingly difficult to sustain past rates of growth and improvements in living standards. . . .

Asia Sentinel – China’s Challenges

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