China is the most important among emerging countries, and its economic growth represents a challenge for the United States, the European Union and Japan. This new actor usually triggers one of two opposing attitudes: fear and defence, or acknowledgement of great opportunities. Knowledge about the Chinese economy is essential in order to understand what is happening in the world economy and which scenarios may play out in the future. The author, who has spent years in China teaching specialist courses in economics, offers his readers a set of concepts for comprehending the basic elements of the Chinese economy and, especially, the major problems that the country needs to address: structural difficulties, social imbalances stemming from internal inequality, weak social security and health safety systems, the need for sustainable economic growth in energetic and environmental terms.
Ignazio Musu teaches Economics and Environmental Economics at the Ca' Foscari University in Venice. He is also president of the TEN (Thematic Environmental Networks) Centre at Venice International University.