Walter Russell Mead on ‘The Most Important Story of the Day’

That important story is the topic of Mead’s post on a Conference Board report about China’s slowing growth rate:

….China’s growth is likely to slow to 8.7 percent next year, 6.6 percent in each of the four years after that, and then average 3.5 percent per year between 2017 and 2025. It has long been an article of faith inside China and among most China watchers that the country needs 9 percent growth per year to avoid widespread instability.

If China’s growth decelerates that fast, that far, the biggest question in world politics won’t be how the rest of us will accommodate China’s rise. The question will shift to whether China can last….

Hard to see clearly that far ahead, but if the Conference Board proves right, then Mead will surely be right.

I’ve no dislike for the Chinese people, yet every reason to dislike their oppressive government. Economic competition with China hasn’t been bad, but rather good, for America. She offers much, and spurs us to be more productive (her goods also being the fuel of our greater productivity).

And yet, and yet, there is not the slightest chance – none at all – that China’s meddlesome government can sustain genuine growth of the kind she’s claimed through year upon year of planning. Nor is there the slightest possibility that a one-party state is a moral option for her people, or any other.

I wouldn’t welcome China’s collapse, but I doubt anyone will have occasion to observe China’s supposed, perpetual advance.

Via Walter Russell Mead’s ‘Via Meadia.’