It's interesting to read Walden Bello on the Chinese economy, and then read Pepe Escobar. From differing "left" perspectives, both analysts have studied the topic way deeper than i have, but come to startlingly opposite conclusions about the strength and prospects of "economic growth" for China.
Even if both these analysts have studied China's economy way more than i have, i think they both miss some fundamentals:
Economic growth is a terrible metric for anything good. Economic growth is an excellent metric for all kinds of horror, including ecosystem destruction and mass extinction. Economic growth absolutely undermines prospects for human existence on a healthy Earth, and needs to be abolished as a positive metric.
If we're going to measure anything as a basis for investing work or money in economic development, the fundamental measures MUST first be ecological health and resiliency, for ecosystems and species; and then human health and resiliency, for individuals and communities.
Economic growth as a metric and metaphor for "good" is based in colonialist, extractivist, capitalist models of "wealth building." The concept that one should "expect a decent return on their money" is a "civilized" expression of the looting that is the foundation of the "science" of economics.
Until this fundamental basis of "the economy" is subsumed in popular consciousness by the fundamental imperative of "the ecology," we will remain unable to comprehend the kind of economy and society that we actually must have.
Humans and human institutions must get in "right relationship" to the ecology, and this focus must permeate all our institutions and our daily lives.
(And thanks to the interwebs, for allowing me to check my writing and catch that i had first written "Pablo Escobar...")