What's the Latest Development?
Premier Wen Jiabao, China’s economic chief, never seemed to have the political support to adopt obviously necessary measures to reorient the economy toward consumption and away from exports and investment, writes Gordon G. Chang. This move should have been initiated in the benign times in the middle of last decade, when growth was solid, the external environment looked favorable.
What's the Big Idea?
Now, conditions are not so good. Europe is falling apart, and a frustrated international community appears unwilling to lend Beijing a hand. China’s problems are still manageable, but they require strong leadership. Chinese handovers take an extraordinary amount of time, so it could be towards the end of 2014 before the new leadership team has settled in. And that's too late, because right now, China’s volatile economy is sinking fast.