In December, the China Economic Quarterly shut up shop after 20 years. To mark the print journal’s passing, the editors looked back at the lessons learnt since 1997, and what they teach about the likely course of China’s development over the next generation. The first lesson is just how wrong many 20-year-old forecasts about China’s economy turned out to be. From the vantage point of 2017-2018, its economic ascendance appears to have had an air of inevitability about it. But that’s not how things looked in late 1997.