Authors Damien Ma and William Adams masterfully capture the economic, social, and political challenges facing China in the next decade. They have successfully crystallized views held by veteran China watchers and made it accessible to the general public in crisp prose. In doing so they recast the American public discourse about China away from the trite bulls vs bears debate about China's growth to a more productive discussion centered on China's scarcity. Highly recommend!
Having just returned from China, this book fascinated me by covering the story of China becoming an industrial juggernaut. The speed with which China has developed into a modern country has never been seen before in the world. We, meaning all the other countries of the world, may need to stand in line behind the billion people of China to get the natural resources we will need to make life liveable. The authors look at the pluses and minuses in China today. They basically tell in detail what has been going on within the country and the meaning that that could have for the rest of the world. China has many problems to address and these problems are worsened by the fact that the population is just so huge. A very interesting read for those who want information about China and its development.
I've adopted for the 25th iteration of my course on the Chinese economy. Yes, the final chapters on politics and ideology have repetition, but for my purposes it's the earlier chapters that matter. The book is still current as of fall 2014 – a big problem in finding books to use in my class! – and they treat central issues (migration and hukou, urbanization, pollution, agricultural reform, education and healthcare, among others) thoughtfully and analytically. They cover the nexus of local government fiscal reform, real estate development, and the need to provide access to healthcare and education in a particularly good way. I can pair with the recent World Bank [free] eBook "Urban China" for more data and formal analytics, and Tom Miller's China's Urban Billion for qualitative descriptions of cities. I look forward to using it starting Sept 2014!
This is a clearly written, extremely well researched, highly thoughtful reflection by two professional analysts from the Eurasia group who have long worked and lived in China regarding the challenges of scarcity that they worry will dominate China's future. The findings are not uniformly downcast, but they are certainly far from sanguine. Ma and Andrews make it abundantly clear that the Chinese leadership has a very tough row to hoe, with little room for errors. I can't recommend this enough to those seeking sober analysis in lieu of pie-in-the-sky jingoistic optimism or morose, doomsday pessimism regarding the near and mid-term Chinese future.