Big changes are ahead for China, probably abrupt ones. The economy has grown so rapidly for many years, over 30 years at an average of 9 percent a year, that its size makes it a major player in trade and finance and increasingly in political and military matters. This growth is not only of great importance internationally, it is already having profound domestic social effects and it is bound to have internal political ones — sooner or later.
Two kinds of changes are in store: political and economic. The order in which they occur will affect their impacts, and that order is very uncertain. In any case, big discontinuities are likely before 2020.