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An objective understanding of China’s development (I)

(People's Daily Online)

10:03, December 31, 2012

The National Intelligence Council of the United States (NIC) has recently released the report “Global Trends 2030: Possible World,” forecasting that China’s total economic output (GDP) will surpass the United States by 2030 and become the world’s largest economic entity. The report also said that it will be difficult for Chinese economy to maintain the average annual growth rate between 8 and 10 percent like in the past 30 years, and will face the risks of political instability, rising nationalism and “middle-income trap.”

It is the first U.S. official forecast saying that China may catch up to it in the future, which caused great attention of the international media.

The release of the report and its contents might encourage the wrong views including “China responsibility theory,” “China collapse theory” and “China threat theory.” Therefore, it is necessary to make a clarification and let the world know a true China.

China is still the world’s largest developing country

Although China has become one of the world’s major economies, it still has the characteristics and properties of developing countries such as large population, weak economic foundation and unbalanced development.

The situation that China has a low per capita share of energy resources is difficult to be changed fundamentally. With the further increase in economic aggregate and continuous growth of population in the next period, China will face greater pressures in supply of energy resources and carrying capacity of environment.

The situation that China has a low per capita income is difficult to be changed quickly. According to the data published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China’s per capita GDP was about 5,400 U.S. dollars in 2011, ranking 89th in the world, a level of middle-income countries. The imbalance of economic development will be more prominent in the future.

The situation that China has a low per capita share of social resources is difficult to be changed significantly. Although China has initially built the world’s largest network of social security, it is still in the lower level, with public expenditures in education, medical treatment and public health even lower than general developing countries. It will take quite a long time to reach the world’s average level.

Therefore, even if China’s GDP exceeds the United States, it is still the world’s largest developing country. The international community should have a full and rational knowledge about the phenomenon. Any views stressing one side but ignoring the other side are one-sided and wrong.

Read the Chinese version: 客观认识中国的发展及其影响, source: People's Daily, author: Zheng Xiwen

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