China's economic miracle won't mirror Japan's

China is now the world’s No 2 economy and our readers predict it will do a better job in that role than Japan did.

China surpassed Japan last week as the world’s second-biggest economy, so we asked our readers if the Chinese economic miracle would fare any better than the Japanese version. Most reckoned it would.

It is tempting to disagree, or at least cast some doubt on our readers’ resounding bullishness. First, it is worth pointing out that Japan was booming for a long time before its collapse -- indeed, it passed France to become the world’s second-biggest economy way back in 1968. On that time frame, China needs another two decades of growth just for its miracle to be as long-lived as Japan’s.

Second, China faces many of the same problems as Japan did --...

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