China’s economic growth moderated to its slowest pace in more than two years in the third quarter, fueling a debate among investors over whether the slowdown is the targeted outcome of government efforts or the onset of a “hard landing” that will unhinge the Chinese economy, the Financial Times reported. The gross domestic product increased 9.1% in the third quarter from a year earlier, the slowest growth since early 2009 and down from a 9.5% increase in the second quarter. The figure came in below some economists’ expectations, causing a 4.2% drop in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index; the benchmark Shanghai Composite index fell 2.3% to 2,383 points. In the last year, Beijing has raised interest rates five times and the reserve requirements for banks nine times in an effort to mop up liquidity that drove inflation to exceed 6% over the summer. Experts say the main risks to the Chinese economy are now a steep fall in demand for exports as the global economy stagnates, or a collapse in the real estate market.