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What makes China weak

It may look powerful, but the republic has troubles that make its future—and ours—uncertain

By George Magnus   December 2010

The central business district of Guangzhou flourishes, but future prosperity is not assured

It seems to many that the Chinese century has arrived. China has become the hub of a globally integrated manufacturing supply chain, the world’s biggest export and creditor nation, and the second biggest economic power in terms of GDP. In the coming decade, its growth could make its GDP larger than that of the US, and raise its income per head from $3,700 to around $13,000. Yet it is premature to conclude that China will soon be the top global superpower.

First, China’s development has reached…

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