One reason for China’s stellar growth is that it is at a demographic sweet-spot. The massive reduction in infant mortality achieved by China’s barefoot doctors in the 1960s and 1970s is now yielding a surge of young workers - an extra 10m working-age adults per year. China’s challenge now is just to absorb them into the labour force.
Add to that the massive population flow from the countryside and you can see why wages are low and growth is so fast. There are few pensioners and there are not many children either. The rabbit is indeed in the middle of the python. (((Hey, Thanksgiving was two days ago and I STILL feel like that.)))
As early as 2015, China’s working age population will actually start falling. By 2040, today’s young workers will be pensioners - in fact the world’s second largest population, after India, will be Chinese pensioners.
So China is going to be full of old people and rather earnest, frustrated young men. It will be one of the most dramatic and unusual demographic changes the world will have seen for a very long time, and Chinese leaders now would do well to plan for such a future.
I can’t imagine what this is going to look like.