Is China’s Economy Strong Enough To Save the World?

Simon Elegant of TIME Magazine writes on the outlook for the world economy through China’s lens:

So, depending on whom you believe, the Chinese economy is bottoming out or even beginning to grow again. But if there’s consensus that things are looking up for China in the short term, there’s little agreement on two crucial questions that inevitably accompany these signs of life in the world’s third-largest economy: will anyone but Chinese benefit from Beijing’s apparent success in heading off the worst effects of the economic crisis? And, if the rebound is real, will it last?

For the pessimists — these days among the majority — the answers are “very little” and “no,” respectively.

Some aspects of China’s glimmers of economic turnaround do seem as though they might offer hope to the country’s trading partners. Take car sales, which rose in March for the third straight month, once again making China the largest market for automobiles in the world, ahead of the U.S. Those statistics, you’d think, would bring a smile to the faces of executives at beleaguered American carmaker GM, whose success in China in recent years has been about the only bright spot in its funereal performance.

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