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China Adjusts to the New World Order

Recognizing that global engagement is in its interests, China's leaders have been working to counter the backlash against globalization and have reconfirmed their commitment to continued reform and opening up. But China does not need the world nearly as desperately as US President Donald Trump and his advisers seem to believe.

HONG KONG – On October 1, the People’s Republic of China celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding with impressive military and civilian parades meant to showcase the extraordinary progress the country has made under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. Formidable challenges lie ahead. But China’s record so far, and the resources it has at its disposal, indicate that it may well be up to the task.

China’s achievements are undeniable. In the last 40 years, it realized the fastest-ever sustained expansion by a major economy, enabling more than 850 million people to escape poverty. As investment in infrastructure, science and technology, education, and health has expanded, living standards have skyrocketed.

But in the third quarter of 2019, China recorded just 6% annual growth, the slowest since March 1992. And prospects for boosting that rate are limited, not least because the world is facing a synchronized slowdown. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its 2019 global growth estimate to 3%, the lowest rate since the 2008 crisis.

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