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virtual reversal of the neoliberal narrative we had grown used to since the end of the Cold War, when the disintegration of Soviet communism appeared to discredit the whole idea of government-directed economic growth. This was followed by the collapse of Japan’s bubble economy in the early 1990s, which in turn touched off a long period of slow, geriatric growth in the granddaddy of the East Asian “miracle.” But the economics profession, having made so many bad calls since this long, strange trip of globalization began, can’t keep up. That’s because most mainstream economists still have trouble admitting that their model of free-market fundamentalism—the “Washington Consensus”—has failed catastrophically, and in several dimensions.
While Brexit has proved a disaster for Britain and the U.S. is floundering with ever-worsening inequality, Japan may well have entered a new chapter of its extraordinary postwar story. It is enjoying a new spurt of activity, including annualized growth of nearly 5 percent in the second quarter and some price and wage increases. These indicators “suggest the economy is reaching a turning point in its 25-year battle with deflation,” as the government said in its annual white paper. Japan also remains socially stable to a degree that should make Americans envious, since it doesn’t suffer the huge income inequality problem that bedevils the United States, though Japan is, of course, far less ethnically diverse. Japan is hardly a perfect model—it is still backward, for example, in recognizing women’s rights—but its Human Development Index is rising among the rich countries. Whether measured by equality, life expectancy, or its stellar jobless rate of 2.7 percent, Japan is today in the “top rung of the most affluent and most successful societies in the world—and now seven and a half years longer than for America,” as economics historian Adam Tooze puts it.

Can China Reverse its Slowing Economic Growth?  (Xiangxue Zheng, National Interest)
In light of the latest subdued economic figures for the first half of the year, China has been swift to implement measures to achieve its annual growth target of 5 percent. The government has placed a  distinct focus on empowering the private sector and amplifying consumer spending.
In a concentrated effort spanning just two months, China introduced a plethora of policy reforms. The Central Political Bureau launched a comprehensive thirty-one-point plan dedicated to fortifying the private sector, vowing to enhance the business climate. The Ministry of Commerce, in tandem with thirteen other departments, championed augmented consumption in households, and the Ministry of Finance provided tax concessions for enterprises and individual entrepreneurs.
However, the effectiveness of these policies in genuinely reviving the economy and restoring confidence remains undetermined. While the People’s Bank of China has assertively cut interest rates, some of the government’s proposed policies seem superficial on paper, bordering on bureaucratic platitudes. 

The Case for Urgency Against China  (Alexander Velez-Green, National Interest)
Policymakers often assume the United States can deter China from invading Taiwan or win if deterrence fails. But that is no longer a safe assumption. Indeed, it is very possible that the United States will be unable to deter China for the remainder of this decade. Worse still, there is a real chance the People’s Liberation Army will be able to defeat U.S. forces in a fight over Taiwan. 
We are in this situation because Washington has consistently failed to prioritize investing in our ability to deter China. But now we have no other choice: If we wish to avoid war with China, or prevail if it comes, then we must urgently focus on strengthening deterrence in the Indo-Pacific by surging investments in the region, even if it means doing less elsewhere. This may not be the choice Washington wants to make, but we have spent decades deferring these investments—and now the bill is due.