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Long term, China's a place you want to be: Expert

With China's stocks continuing to nose dive, now is not the time to trade in the market, but it is still a good long-term investment, financial expert and author John Mauldin said Monday.

"Long term, China is a place you want to be. We really have to allow Xi [President Xi Jinping] to come in and change this economy and it's going to take some time," the chairman of Mauldin Economics and author of a new book on China called "A Great Leap Forward?" said in an interview with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Mauldin attributes his long-term bullish outlook to government accommodation, the country's growing middle class, and the fact that there's little else for Chinese investors to do right now.

"You have a growing middle class that just is aggressively—something we've never seen in this world this fast—moving into the stock market, and they buy," he said.

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Plus, Chinese stocks being included in more indexes, and that means "hundreds of billions if not eventually trillions of dollars that will have to buy everything that moves in China."

Chinese equities finished near bear-market territory Monday despite a bigger-than-expected easing package released by the country's central bank over the weekend. The benchmark Shanghai Composite ended down 3.3 percent, and has fallen more than 21 percent from its high in June.

The downward spiral follows the Shanghai Composite's remarkable run up, which saw the index soar more than 150 percent in 12 months.

Mauldin pointed out that the Chinese invest differently than Westerners. Where Europeans are generally value players, the Chinese are momentum players. That's why he would not trade Chinese stocks right now.

"This is one that it's really, you just let it fall and when it turns and you get a reasonable turn and you start seeing that pile back in, then pile back in," he said. "This is a trader's market. It's classic momentum and that's the way the Chinese are going to play it, and you don't want to fight them."

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—CNBC's See Kit Tang and Linda Sittenfeld contributed to this report.