China’s spectacular growth over the last 40 years has slowed but remains strong, leading the world in economic recovery after the global financial crisis, and even in the current COVID-19 pandemic after a devasting blow early in 2020. Yet, a number of worrying developments have emerged, most recently the troubles that China’s second largest property development company, the Evergrande Group, have suffered. Does this portend China’s Lehman moment, as some have suggested? Given the outsized role of the real estate sector in China’s economy, what will be the impact of the group’s demise? Is it too big to fail? Related, what about the continuing and growing problem of local government debt? Will that be affected by the downturn in the property sector? What was the impact of COVID-19? Moreover, there continue to be major questions about the role of the state in China’s economy. As market institutions continue to evolve, how should we understand the difference between the private and the state sectors? Are those distinctions still meaningful? China Program’s Colloquia Series will explore these questions to help us understand the Future of China’s Economy.
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