Summary of China’s Future

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7 Overall

8 Importance

7 Innovation

7 Style


Professor David Shambaugh issues a wake-up call to those who believe that China’s progress is unstoppable. He reports that it must overcome massive impediments to develop fully, and explains why it might not succeed and could become more nationalistic and repressive. Shambaugh links China’s need for innovation and better service sector performance to deeper issues, including the hope that the Chinese Communist Party will relinquish its hold, especially on the financial sector. So far, China has defied the Western idea that economic success requires democratization. getAbstract recommends this keen-eyed overview of China’s economy to those investing or doing business in China, or planning to do so.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How an expert views China’s current economic position and condition,
  • What changes might occur if the country takes different economic pathways, and
  • What China’s future may hold. 

About the Author

David Shambaugh is a professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University and the director of its China Policy Program. He is also a nonresident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution.



Developed or Developing?

With economic growth slowing in much of the world, China’s future matters internationally; today, its economy is a locomotive pulling a hefty 35% of total global GDP growth. Despite warnings of doom and gloom, China’s economy is still growing at an envious rate. But can China defy the historical patterns of other developing countries and reach developed-nation standards? Can it move beyond the “middle-income trap”? No nation has ever progressed successfully to a developed modern economy without democratizing. Since 1960, 101 nations have gained middle-income status, but only 13 of these states have become high-income, fully developed nations.

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