A latest analytical piece published by a UK-based think tank predicted that the Chinese economy may overtake the American economy in 2028, far earlier than previous predictions. Eye-catching as it is, especially when the global economy is battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, overtaking the world’s largest economy is not a guiding principle in China’s development. China is pursuing high-quality development to meet its 1.4 billion people’s demands for a better life, a Chinese expert said.
As the only major economy expected to see positive growth in 2020, China’s growth pace and growth potential have been under the spotlight with various institutions estimating when exactly China may surpass the US. The British think tank, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), on Friday renewed its prediction of China becoming the world’s largest economy by 2028, five years earlier than its previous prediction.
The efficient containment of the coronavirus is one of the reasons why the “Chinese economy has sustained less economic damage than any other major economy”, hence the pace of China becoming the world’s largest economy has sped up, according to the analysis.
“We expect the trend rate of growth for China to be 5.7 percent annually from 2021-25 and 4.5 percent annually from 2026-30,” said the CEBR, when comparing to the US economy’s predicted annual growth rate of 1.9 percent from 2022-2024 which may slow down to 1.6 percent afterwards.
Douglas McWilliams, the CEBR’s deputy chairman, said that “other Asian economies are also shooting up the league table,” and they deserve attention from Western policymakers."
For a period of time, the development of China and such comparisons drawn with the US have been constantly hitting news headlines, and offers a topic for some foreign politicians and media to hype up the so-called China threat theory.
“Instead of seeking volume-oriented growth or taking over other economies, China is focusing on high-quality development, including industrial upgrades and key technology breakthroughs among others,” Tian Yun, vice director of the Beijing Economic Operation Association, told the Global Times on Saturday.
Tian noted that it is within expectations that international institutions renew their predictions as the deadly pandemic has already brought about far-reaching impacts on the global economic structure. However, China overtaking the US as the world’s largest economy in volume is not as simple as some reports describe.
The two countries have differences in population, industrial structure, technology level and others, which should also be taken into consideration when comparing the two economies, Tian said.
The year of 2021 is going to be the first year of China’s 14th Five Year Plan (2021-25). Setting a specific goal for the overall economic growth is not as meaningful as making a timetable for the country’s promotion of its next phase of industrialisation, such as boosting medium and high-level manufacturing sectors, Tian said.
The Chinese economy grows according to its own pace and always adheres to peaceful development and win-win cooperation, with an essential goal to meet its 1.4 billion people’s wishes for a better life, including higher income, better technology, improved services, as well as a healthy living environment. Certain anti-China pundits and forces trying to hype up the so-called “decoupling from China” or “China threat theory” will eventually hurt the global economy, including the US, Tian stressed.