Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, November 15, 2002

How Big a Step Will China Take in GDP in the New Century?

China's GDP will surpass that of France in 2005; China is expected to become the world's third economic power in 2020; and it is likely to outstrip Japan in 2050 to become the world second largest economic power.


It is stated in the report delivered to the 16th CPC National Congress that in the first 20 years of this century, we will concentrate our energies on the comprehensive construction of a well-off society of a higher level that will benefit over 1 billion people, then we will continue our efforts for dozens of years to come to basically realize modernization and build China into a prosperous, democratic and culturally advanced socialist country in the middle of this century.

"What changes will take place in economic aggregate which serves as an important index of the comprehensive national strength in the next 20-50 years?" With this question in mind, this reporter, Zhao Cheng, had an interview with Senior Statistician Xu Xianchun, director of the National Economic Accounting Department of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The report states that on the basis of optimizing structure and improving efficiency, efforts will be made to quadruple the 2000 national domestic product (GDP) by 2020. Xu said in accordance with this target, China's GDP (calculated on the basis of 2000 price) will exceed 35 trillion yuan by the year 2020. In the coming 20 years, China's economy will at least maintain a 7.18 percent rate of growth.

It is the view of Xu Xianchun that over the past two decades of reform and opening up, China has built up a considerable material base; China has a vast potential market, and has in store tremendous demands. Accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has given wider space for China's development. At the same time, breakthrough in and deepening of reform will provide a stronger driving force for economic development. These factors decide that China's economy can maintain a relatively high rate of growth, and it is highly hopeful for the realization of the pre-set goal.

Xu said that since the launch of reform and opening up, the growth rate of China's economy has been greatly higher than the average growth rate of the world economy and than the growth rate of developed countries. The rapid growth of China's economic aggregate has decided the forward shift of the placing of China's economy in the world and the rise in the proportion of China's economy to the total volume of the world economy. In 1999, China's economy was placed seventh in the world, its rank shifted to sixth in 2000; China's economy had a 3.4 percent share of the world economy in 2000, and this figure was raised to 3.7 percent in 2001.

On the basis of his analysis of Chinese and foreign historical data and factors of economic growth, Xu Xianchun made a prediction of the future economic growth rates and GDP of China and other countries whose current economic aggregate rankings are among the top five, as well as China's per-capita GDP, and he came to the following basic conclusions: China's GDP will surpass that of France in 2005; China is expected to become the world's third economic power in 2020; and it is likely to outstrip Japan in 2050 to become the world second largest economic power.

Xu said in the 50 years from the early period after the founding of New China to 2000, the leap of China's GDP took trillion yuan as the base; whereas in the 50 years from 2000 to 2050, the leap of GDP will be based on 10 trillion yuan.

GDP is an important index for measuring the overall national strength of a country and should be approached in a dialectical way. Xu maintains that major changes will take place in the composition of China's GDP. For example, the information industry, electromechanical industry and financial service industry will exert ever-greater influence on economic aggregate. Energy consumption for every 10,000-yuan GDP and the emission of solid wastes will drop by a fairly big margin.

Xu said, per-capita GDP is an indicator of the degree of a country's affluence. Even when China's GDP jumps to second place in 2050, there will still be a gap between China's per-capita GDP and that of developed countries due to the large base number of China's population. This sheds light on the arduousness, the protracted nature and urgency of the need to accelerate development.

By People's Daily Online

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