As the Beijing Winter Olympics get underway, all eyes are on China. There has been lots of coverage about China’s chilly relationship in the west and its persecution of the Uighur and other minorities, but there is also much to be said about the Chinese economy.
China’s great rise over the past several decades has been the great economic success of our times, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and giving the global economy wheels in the years after the financial crisis of 2007-09.
Over the past decade, however, the miracle became a bit more ordinary as growth gradually slowed. China found it difficult to keep increasing exports at the same pace year after year, particularly in the face of weaker international demand for its products – not least because of the trade war with the US. Other issues have included an ageing population and the fact that growth had become increasingly dependent on debt, which wasn’t sustainable.