You may recall the children's tale, "The Emperor's New Clothes." If China is the emperor, then an illusory "rising China" under the oppressive Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime, would be the emperor's non-existent clothes.
At a critical point in the story a young boy asks, "Why is the emperor wearing no clothes?" Suddenly the facade drops. Everyone accepts the truth of what their eyes have already seen, but denied -- a naked emperor posturing and preening before them.
The no clothes' moment for China came recently when a senior Japanese government official remarked: "China is a scary country." That simple observation stripped away the illusion of a rising China, which we had all convinced ourselves was the case.
China is not rising, not even close to it. It is collapsing under the weight of tyranny, oppression, corruption, and the degradation of the national and local institutions, which are in terminal decay.
Yes, the emperor has no clothes. China is indeed a "scary country."