Giant on the move
The ideas came pouring in, with variations centered on the rising might of China’s economic powerhouse, fresh from memories of Beijing’s triumphant hosting of the Olympic Games and following years of double-digit economic growth that have made China the world’s third-largest economy after the United States and Japan.
How quickly the picture can change. Now, business confidence is plunging and even government forecasters are warning about the risks of social unrest from rising unemployment as the export sector wilts. The government has rushed out a $585 billion stimulus program in hopes of keeping GDP from slipping below 8 percent, but private economists think even that may be overly optimistic.
The image of an ascendant China has not entirely lost its currency, of course, but the sudden, sharp slowdown in economic growth from its breathtaking pace of 13 percent — albeit still the fastest of any major economy — favoured a more neutral moniker for our China blog. And So we selected “Changing China,” which more accurately encompasses the rapid swings of fortune in this mighty nation of 1.3 billion people.