China faces its old demons

Ten years ago, nobody believed in the China success story. Until very recently, everybody believed it. Was it just disaster postponed?

Some of the most entertaining writers of their generations have sharpened their teeth on ChinaÆs unlikely rise from rural poverty to feared superpower-in-waiting.

Gordon Chang wrote The Coming Collapse of China in 2001, while Joe Studwell wrote the bestselling The China Dream a year later, essentially a sophisticated exercise in mockery, as he tried to deflate the dreams of Western businessmen flocking to China.

Chang and Studwell both seemed to take ChinaÆs burst of prosperity as a personal insult and...

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