5 Reasons NOT to Fear China (and 3 Reasons to Still Worry)

In the 1980s, many Americans feared that fast-growing Japan would supplant the U.S.

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In the 1980s, many Americans feared that fast-growing Japan would supplant the U.S. as the world's biggest, most dynamic economy. Those fears abruptly disappeared when the Japanese economy stumbled in the 1990s, only to be resurrected in the new century with a new rival: China.

With the world's largest population and an economic boom unleashed by the end of Communist controls, China seemed destined to overtake America as the world's richest and most powerful nation. But just as the threat posed by Japan 30 years ago turned out to be overblown, the threat China poses today may be less dire than it appears, despite ominous headlines these days about the trade war between Washington and Beijing.

Long a juggernaut, China is slowing now. The era of double-digit GDP growth is over. Last quarter's 6% growth rate -- which some analysts believe to be overstated by Beijing -- was the lowest in three decades. Growth will downshift to 4% of less by 2030.

The country faces several major challenges. Consider: