Challenges facing China without political and economic reform

Military exercises near the disputed Spratly Islands involving troops from the US and Philippines (photo:dpa)
Military exercises near the disputed Spratly Islands involving troops from the US and Philippines (photo:dpa)

China first opened its doors to foreign investment and encouraged the development of a market economy in the late 1970s. It had become the world’s second largest economy by 2011. But if that pace of growth is to continue, it may have to confront some fundamental weaknesses at the heart of its political system and economic structure.

IT IS widely believed that China is a rising power. It has one of the most impressive records of sustained economic growth in the world. Its influence and global reach has increased dramatically over the past three decades.

But China faces serious challenges that defy this image of an inevitable emerging power. Unle...

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