The Conversation: Understanding China's Growth

Will China be the Superpower of the 21st Century?

ByABC News
November 8, 2010, 8:35 PM

Nov. 9, 2010 — -- If the last century was known as the American Century, then what will define the times in which we live now?

Many believe the 21st century belongs to the Chinese, with their enormous population and hunger for economic growth. But what are the facts?

ABC's Clarissa Ward spoke with Russell Leigh Moses, a professor on China's politics who is teaching in Beijing, for a Conversation about China's remarkable growth and the prospects for sustaining it.

"It's still an early century," said Moses. "We're not quite sure what's going to happen in the next five years, never mind the next 50 years."

While the Chinese have built glittering cities and captured the world's eyes with events like the World Expo and the 2008 Olympic Games, China is now without its share of problems as a country.

"China is still struggling. It still makes lots of errors, and you can see this by the number of Chinese who emigrate outside," said Moses.

"I think there's a myth overseas that this is a very well-run, very efficient economy," he said. "That's really not true. What this is is an economy that's run by the state, powered by individuals who are willing to work very long hours for very low pay."

We hope you'll watch today's Conversation for more.

For more of our reporting ahead of our trip to China, go to our special China page at

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