Red Flags
A review of

Red Flags

Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy

George MagnusYale UP • 2018

Soon, A Reckoning

by David Meyer

Economist George Magnus offers a perceptive overview of China’s overcooked economy and the possible consequences of current Chinese policies.

An associate at the China Centre at Oxford University, economist George Magnus is also a research associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies and the former chief economist at UBS. He writes that China appears to have broken the usual fiscal rules, convincing itself and the rest of the world that it can defy economic gravity. It cannot, opines Magnus, and he cites the factors – including massive debt accumulation with little return – that have propelled China’s economy but that cannot guarantee future progress. Magnus’s approach is succinct but wide in scope, encompassing history, politics, economics and finance; his may be the only book you need to understand China’s economic situation.

Echoing that view, The Wall Street Journal called this “a comprehensive and valuable survey of the threats facing China’s economy.” Kerry Brown, author of CEO, China, found it “a nuanced, historically informed and highly readable account of why we should never be complacent about the People’s Republic.” And New Statesman said the author “offers a forensic take on why the Chinese economy will continue to be bedeviled by politics and why it matters.”

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