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Why Xi Jinping will not enjoy his third term – Asia Times


Bill Overholt was the first person I am aware of to raise the possibility that on any metric – purchasing power parity, whatever – the Chinese economy would come to match in scale the US economy. That was in the very early 1990s, at which point it was generally regarded as a bizarre and unlikely observation.

He proved to be right about that and he has over the years proven to be right about many other things. He brings a unique combination of a business perspective, a political perspective and an economic perspective. His preoccupation for the last year or so has been China’s economic prospects or lack thereof.

– Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence H Summers introducing William Overholt at last week’s Harvard seminar where the following remarks were delivered.

Dr Overholt’s remarks:

Let me begin by summarizing my theme: Xi Jinping is not going to enjoy his third term.

Let’s start by looking at China’s long-run economic prospects. There are some very common views on that. The most common view, particularly in the national security community, is that China has demonstrated an exceptional ability to grow and, therefore, even if it slows some, it’s certainly going to continue to grow faster than the United States and eventually will tower over it.

As former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has often pointed out, we Americans tend to exaggerate the present and future prowess of anyone seen as a rival. We did it with the Soviets and we did it with the Japanese. We’re doing it again.



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