China's Crisis of Success

William H. Overholt

China's Crisis of SuccessChina's Crisis of Success provides new perspectives on China's rise to superpower status, showing that China has reached a threshold where success has eliminated the conditions that enabled miraculous growth. Continued success requires re-invention of its economy and politics. The old economic strategy based on exports and infrastructure now piles up debt without producing sustainable economic growth, and Chinese society now resists the disruptive change that enabled earlier reforms. While China's leadership has produced a strategy for successful economic transition, it is struggling to manage the politics of implementing that strategy. After analyzing the economics of growth, William H. Overholt explores critical social issues of the transition, notably inequality, corruption, environmental degradation, and globalization. He argues that Xi Jinping is pursuing the riskiest political strategy of any important national leader. Alternative outcomes include continued impressive growth and political stability, Japanese-style stagnation, and a major political-economic crisis.