9. Future Present

One of the most difficult challenges in writing this book has been the frequency with which we’ve needed to update our data, because China is changing so rapidly and so insistently in every field that by the time you read this book, the numbers will have changed again. It’s almost as if China has no present, only the approaching future.

Despite the speed of its approach, some aspects of China’s future are reasonably predictable. Barring anomalous events like aliens landing or a cataclysmic earthquake decimating Shanghai, the economy of China should continue to grow at least 6 to 8 percent a year over the next five to ten years, possibly even faster, official government predictions suggest. Continued economic growth should help ...

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