How many China predictions still hold up after 113 years?

I have low confidence that many of today’s China predictions would meet such a longevity test. But John A. Hobson’s classic Imperialism: A Study, published in 1902, seems to have called the direction China would ultimately take pretty much correctly–albeit after a period of 75 years or so when things were going the other way. Here is the quote, which I find quite amazing even after having read it several times:

It is at least conceivable that China might so turn the tables upon the Western industrial nations, and, either by adopting their capital and organisers or, as is more probable, by substituting her own, might flood their markets with her cheaper manufactures, and refusing their imports in exchange might take her payment in liens upon their capital, reversing the earlier process of investment until she gradually obtained financial control over her quondam patrons and civilisers. This is no idle speculation. If China in very truth possesses those industrial and business capacities with which she is commonly accredited, and the Western Powers are able to have their will in developing her upon Western lines, it seems extremely likely that this reaction will result.

This discussion on China is in Part II, Chapter V of Imperialism, which is available online. I claim no credit for discovering this wonderful snippet; that goes to Duncan Green via Branko Milanovic. However it does make me wish that I had kept reading Hobson when I first picked up the book a couple years ago.

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