The Prospects for Economic Transition in China Are Questionable

During the financial and economic crisis of 2008 and 2009, Beijing passed a $600 billion stimulus package (13.4 percent of Chinese GDP), which allowed China to breeze through the worst global contraction since the Great Depression. With the U.S. mired in depression-like conditions, some believed that the “Beijing Consensus” of state-led capitalism seemed to have eclipsed the “Washington Consensus” of market capitalism. Although this conclusion turned out to be wrong, an examination of some of China’s official statistics shows that they do not substantiate current bearishness. There are strong and promising parts to the Chinese economy, and there are highly problematic aspects. Heritage Foundation China expert William Wilson explains the good and the bad.

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