6. Chinese growth figures have long been known to be artificially smooth, but now the economy is easily the world’s largest on purchasing power exchange rates, the statistical massages have wider consequences.
Domestically, an increasingly active middle class is generating pressure for more accountable governance. Mounting inequalities have nurtured a sense of injustice; 200m migrant workers remain second-class citizens and corruption is worsening. Tackling these problems is urgent, but China's economic successes have fostered an unwarranted self-confidence. Instead, motivated by the Arab spring, the system has moved aggressively to contain any social discontent that might spark more politically sensitive movements.