Timothy Beardson has a new book (reviewed here) on China's future, and he told the Economic Club of Minnesota in its first luncheon of the fall that China’s severe demographic problems will usher in a period of want -- pretty much no matter what.
Once China’s population peaks in the late 2020s, he said, and begins to fall dramatically over the rest of the century, the nation will struggle to maintain economic growth.
“When China looks at the other challenges that it has in front of it, whether it’s cleaning up the environment, whether it’s trying to build an innovative education system or a functional financial system, it really needs to address those much-needed areas while it still has decent levels of economic growth,” Beardson said.
“It’s going to be a lot harder in ten years’ time to be dealing with some of those issues,” he said. “So I think that there’s a call for urgency amongst policymakers in China which we simply haven’t been seeing.”
I tried to summarize parts of the speech here: http://bit.ly/15pju73
China is Minnesota's second-largest export market.