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It’s only a few years since China was widely regarded as an unstoppable economic colossus. For three decades, its economy grew about 10 percent annually; China seemed to be gliding through the global economic storm.

Well, maybe not. Many economists — Chinese and foreign — think China’s economic model is unworkable. Without a new model, they say, China will someday face a collapse of growth or worse. The outcome has huge implications for China’s internal stability and its global economic footprint. The precedent of Japan, a high flier laid low, suggests that rapid growth can’t be taken for granted.

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