Pitfalls of an Aging China

Rising social costs, shrinking labor pools, nonperforming loans, a distorted economy and more—an in-depth look at the huge challenge facing Beijing.

Issue: Jan-Feb 2013

FRENCH PHILOSOPHER Auguste Comte probably tried to cram too much into his pithy but seductive maxim when he said that “demography is destiny.” Even so, demographic forces can be relentless in shaping future prospects of nations and therefore can offer powerful clues about national possibilities for future prosperity and geopolitical power.

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