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Stumbling giantThis Wednesday at 5 PM, author Timothy Beardson will discuss his new book, Stumbling Giant, at the Institute for Chinese Studies. The book examines the challenges to China’s rise and discusses their impact and the policy prescriptions available to confront them.

The overwhelming majority of the literature in recent years has suggested that China will eventually occupy America’s recent role as the global superpower. While avoiding histrionic extremes such as eventual dominion or coming collapse, Mr Beardson disagrees, arguing that it is highly unlikely that China will become the world’s superpower in the 21st century.

Instead, he focuses on China’s dire demographic outlook. The numbers are certain to is slow growth, but the country faces other troubling prospects. A lack of innovation, a dysfunctional financial system and environmental degradation are just three of them.

Mr Beardson has lived in Hong Kong for thirty-five years and has taken an active interest in the opening up of China and its economic development. In 1984 he founded an investment bank – the first to operate inside China – which was the only foreign-owned institution invited to set up the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Previously a historian at Oxford and currently the chairman of the China Oxford Scholarship Fund, Mr Beardson’s experience as an entrepreneur and as a practitioner gives a different perspective on China’s present and future prospects.

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