'China will be 2nd most powerful nation by 2050'

08:25, October 26, 2010      

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The country's top think tank has predicted China will be the world's most powerful nation, second only to the United States, by the year 2050.

China will also strive to be among the top five most competitive countries of the G20 by 2020, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said in its Report on National Competitiveness of China, which was released on Monday.

The country has remained among the top five powerful nations with regard to economic growth since 1992 and is expected to overtake the United States to become the world's largest economy by 2030, the report said.

According to data for the first half of this year, China has eclipsed Japan to become the world's second-biggest economy after three decades of blistering growth.

China ranked 17th in national competitiveness among 100 countries in 2008, a jump of 56 places from its previous listing in 1990, according to the report.

"China's comprehensive competitiveness has rapidly climbed up the rank over the past 20 years, but we are worried about its competitiveness with regard to efficiency and industrial structure," said Ni Pengfei, director of the Research Center for City and Competitiveness under the CASS, at a press conference in Beijing.

"We need to foster new growth areas in a bid to prevent unsustainable development caused by the extensive economic growth pattern."

The report also warned that China's core competitiveness could not match its ranking when it comes to high-level talents, culture, education, health, science and technology.

For example, China's index of high-level talents stands at 8.3 percent of that of the US and 10 percent of that of Japan, clearly indicating a big gap in the human resources sector, the report said.

In the field of higher education, China's index is only 10 percent of that of the European Union and one third of the US, the report said.

Though China ranked 4th in higher education competitiveness in 2008, most of the first-class universities are still in the EU and the US, it said.

The report also said the country's science and technology competitiveness index is less than one third of that of the US.

There are 329 famous institutions of science and technology in the US, while China has only 61, the report said.

The report also predicted that China's cultural attractiveness, which ranked behind the EU, Japan and the US between 2004 and 2008, will continue increasing.

"We should think of a country's cultural power when talking about its national competitiveness," said Chen Shaofeng, deputy director of the cultural industries institute under Peking University.

The report suggested China makes more efforts to promote its international image to enhance its appeal and attractiveness.

By Chen Jia, China Daily


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