Whilst it’s hardly news to say ‘Keep your eyes on China’, I have a feeling that in the next few years, the meteoric rise of the Dragon may stutter, or indeed change direction. I must confess to having little insider knowledge – I’ve only spent a couple of weeks in China, and all of that was within Xinjiang. However, as with the financial crisis, my belief that something will change comes from looking at everything in the public domain and deciding something doesn't make sense.
If you asked the man in the street about China, then you might expect to hear something about its inexorable rise. Yet there’s something very rotten in this state that comes to the surface with only a little digging. We have grown immured to the constant strikes and protests, but it still comes as a shock to hear that an estimated 90,000 happen every year. The current spate of immolations in Tibet will probably be controlled like the riots in Xinjiang before them, but the anger of the Han Chinese majority may be harder for officials to contain.