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Will China avoid the middle income trap?

It is easy to despair. After three decades of spectacular growth, China's economic engine has started to sputter. Mind you, its growth rate of around 7%, according to official numbers, remains the envy of the world. But dark predictions are making the rounds that China could fall into what has ensnared many other developing economies over the years: the middle income trap. After all, other promising development stories -- think of Brazil or Argentina at some stage over the past century -- have seen growth fizzle and their per capita income subsequently stagnate.

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