Stumbling Giant : The Threats to China's Future
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While dozens of recent books and articles have predicted the near-certainty of China's rise to global supremacy, this book boldly counters such widely-held assumptions. Timothy Beardson brings to light the daunting array of challenges that today confront China, as well as the inadequacy of the responses. He presents bold policy prescriptions addressing these challenges and explains why - without substantial reform - China is unlikely to replace America as the next superpower. Drawing on extensive research and experience living and working in Asia over the last thirty-five years, the author spells out China's situation: an inexorable demographic future of a shrinking labour force, relentless ageing, extreme gender disparity, and even a falling population. Also, the nation faces social instability, a devastated environment, a predominantly low-tech economy with inadequate innovation, the absence of an effective welfare safety net, an ossified governance structure, and radical Islam lurking at the borders. Beardson's nuanced, first-hand look at China acknowledges its historic achievements while tempering predictions of its imminent hegemony with a no-nonsense dose of reality.