Stumbling Giant The Threats to China's Future Timothy Beardson

Publication date:
15 May 2013
Yale University Press
528 pages: 235 x 156 x 35mm


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While dozens of recent books and articles have predicted the near-certainty of China’s rise to global supremacy, this book boldly counters such widely-held assumptions. Timothy Beardson brings to light the daunting array of challenges that today confront China, as well as the inadequacy of the responses. He presents bold policy prescriptions addressing these challenges and explains why – without substantial reform – China is unlikely to replace America as the next superpower.

Drawing on extensive research and experience living and working in Asia over the last thirty-five years, the author spells out China’s situation: an inexorable demographic future of a shrinking labour force, relentless ageing, extreme gender disparity, and even a falling population. Also, the nation faces social instability, a devastated environment, a predominantly low-tech economy with inadequate innovation, the absence of an effective welfare safety net, an ossified governance structure, and radical Islam lurking at the borders. Beardson’s nuanced, first-hand look at China acknowledges its historic achievements while tempering predictions of its imminent hegemony with a no-nonsense dose of reality.

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Visit Timothy Beardson's Website

Timothy Beardson founded and ran Crosby Financial Holdings, at the time the largest independent investment bank in the Far East. Since the late 1990s he has been a frequent speaker on political, economic, environmental and strategic issues at such events as the World Economic Forum at Davos and at prominent universities. He is a permanent resident of Hong Kong.

'Beardson, a veteran Asia financier, catalogues the dangers faced by China without the overextended anecdotes or questionable official data that have sullied similar works. This is a cool assessment of the overall weight of threats, not ammunition for a bit of dinner-party Chinabashing.' Leo Lewis, Times