Growth in the world's second largest economy could slow to as little as 5 percent in the near-term, but that's no cause for concern, one analyst said.
"We are facing an inevitable deceleration in the Chinese economy. I see 5 to 6 percent per annum growth over the five years commencing January 2016," said Jonathan Pain, author of investment newsletter The Pain Report.
Bearish views on China's economy are not uncommon, with many analysts citing smaller dividends from investment-led growth, but Pain's view boils down to simple arithmetic.
"7.5 percent growth this year in China is equivalent to 12 percent in 2008, because the Chinese economy is 65 percent bigger today than it was then. So, we are going to see some natural deceleration in the headline rate of growth," he told CNBC on Thursday.
The world's second-largest economy grew 7.3 percent on year during the July-September period, its slowest pace in more than five years, jeopardizing Beijing's 7.5 percent target for 2014.
China's economy will grow to $10 trillion next year from around $9.3 trillion currently, Pain said, noting the prospect of 5-6 percent growth in a $10 trillion economy is not alarming.
A sub-6 percent growth rate over the next decade is possible, but it's not inevitable, said Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics. While Julian expects gross domestic product (GDP) growth to slow to 6.5 percent by 2016, it could stabilize and even pick up in the future should officials pass structural reforms, he said.
"If you compare China's growth path with other countries of a similar export-driven model such as Korea or Taiwan, it doesn't look out of the ordinary," he said. "The only extraordinary thing in China is how long they've experienced massive growth."
"Looking at extrapolations of growth, there are some people who say current rates look quite ridiculous but you have to remember the scale of the economy and how large it is."
What about the headwinds?
Many expect China's labor force could pose downside risks to growth, with Chinese officials repeatedly stressing their tolerance for lower growth as long as employment remains steady.
Despite ample anecdotal evidence of skilled labor shortages, Pain doesn't consider employment a serious challenge if growth decelerates down his envisioned path.
In fact, according to Citi, China faces a labor shortage. High school and postgraduate degree holders are in relatively high demand, the bank said in a note this month. Undergraduate degree-holders, however, struggle with unemployment.