China has made a lot of headlines lately, particularly in the financial press. There's no question that Chinese stocks have been wildly popular over the past few years, as investors follow the advice of luminaries such as Buffett and Siegel and look beyond U.S. borders for good investments.

With China's labor force approaching 1 billion, 9.5% estimated GDP growth this year, and a surge of popular IPOs on the U.S. markets like (NASDAQ:BIDU), it's easy to understand why investors are excited about the potential profits of Chinese stocks.

Strong past performance .
Since its inception in October 2004, the iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (NYSE:FXI) exchange-traded fund (ETF), which tracks an index of China's 25 largest and most liquid stocks, has returned 57%, easily outpacing the S&P 500 over the same period. In fact, 14 Chinese stocks have more than doubled over the past five years.

Investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, a brand-new community intelligence database (still in beta testing), have been following these stocks closely.

Five-Year Total Return*

CAPS Investors Covering** (NASDAQ:SOHU)






Qiao Xing Universal






China Petroleum & Chemical (NYSE:SNP)



* Data courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.
** Source: Motley Fool CAPS as of Oct. 6, 2006.

. but will it continue?
CAPS investors have been fiercely debating the future of Chinese stocks. Some argue that possible geopolitical events and a tightening grip of China's Communist Party could dampen any hope of sustained growth, while others contend that the true potential of the Chinese market has yet to be realized.

We'd love to further the debate. Come and chime in with your views at Motley Fool CAPS. (A free registration is required.)

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Todd Wenning does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Sina is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor choice. The Fool is investors writing for investors.