Uncertainties surrounding China’s future are rising, and not so much regarding its ability to grow, but its sustainability. The country will certainly be able to progress with less impressive rhythms, but it will need to demonstrate the capability of solving social issues that today seem inextricable. Economists have numerous reasons to worry: from financial system reforms to a real estate bubble, and decreasing investment returns to income disparities. And yet, the greatest challenge seems to originate from a frequently neglected science: demography. After being a successful banker and living in Asia for 35 years, Timothy Beardson published a book that has attracted the attention the disciple deserves (Stumbling Giant: The Threats to China’s Future, Yale University Press). China appears a prisoner of its own choices, both direct mistakes and uncertainties in correcting errors. The demographic threat is articulated in four aspects: rising wages, an ageing society, decreasing population, and inequalities between men and women. Labor costs are rising because employees are becoming rare. Unlike a few years ago, there are numerically fewer laborers willing to move to factories and construction sites in big cities for greatly reduced salaries. Their discipline and cheapness attracted investments to the point of coining the phrase “factory of the world”—by now corroded by use. This model is no longer practicable because low-cost labor is more available in other countries. Whether this will be China’s doom or a stimulus to improve the country will be the new administration’s battleground. Furthermore, the country has aged due to the single-child policy that drastically reduced birth rates. If China has successfully defeated underdevelopment, it hasn’t yet been capable of preventing the consequences of the demographic battle. Who will take care of the hundreds of millions of elderly now that the traditional family is wearing thin? An innovative welfare program could do it, but at what cost to public finance? The Chinese population is expected to reach 1.5 billion before stabilizing itself in 2050. All other countries will grow simultaneously. India will become the most populous while the US will reduce the difference. China could maintain the standard of living achieved, but winning and maintaining economic supremacy will be difficult: no country in the world has recorded economic growth with a declining population. There is also a worrisome gender inequality, which goes beyond the physiological threshold: there are 16% fewer women of child-bearing age compared to men, which means that 1 in 6 men will not be able to marry and create a family. Today, women are less constrained by the tradition of an inescapably destiny. They marry later or frequently choose to remain single, prioritizing careers over domestic hearth. The interaction of these characteristics generates fear. Choosing an accelerated growth changed the social organization that governed China for thousands of years. Perhaps it was the price to pay for modernization. Less comprehensible—according to Beardson—is the delay in researching adequate solutions. Obsessed with the GDP, the PCC has neglected the collateral damage that has effectively become insurmountable. The window for reform will close in a few years. After, the law of demographics will have its revenge and China will need to reconsider the security that projects it as a dominant global power in this century.