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China’s GDP per capita to exceed $10,000

(People's Daily Online)    16:12, January 23, 2019

China is stepping closer to becoming a high-income country according to official data which indicates that the country’s GDP per capita almost reached $10,000 last year, China News Agency reported on Jan. 21.

In 2018, China’s GDP hit 90 trillion yuan (about $13.32 trillion). GDP per capita stood at $9,777, almost ten times that of 2001 ($1,000), said Niu Li, deputy director of the Department of Economic Forecasting of the State Information Center.

Niu said that the substantial rise reflects the rapid development of China’s economy over recent years and a higher living standard throughout the country.

Despite the improvement, China remains a middle-income country according to the World Bank standards, with a gross national income per capita between $1,006 and $12,235.

China is expected to rank as a high-income country within the next two to three years, as long as it keeps an annual GDP growth rate of 6 percent or more, said Cai Zhizhou, deputy director of the China Center for Economic Research at Peking University.

China is positioned around 70th in the global GDP per capita ranking, Cai noted. He added that China will continue to be a developing country even when it meets the threshold of a high-income country, as gaps still exist between China and developed countries with a GDP per capita of $40,000 or $50,000.

2019 is a crucial year for China to avoid the “middle-income trap,” a term coined by the World Bank in 2007. Countries which find themselves trapped in the middle-income band are more likely to face unstable politics, domestic market of low vitality, lack of technological innovations and changes caused by the external environment, said Cai.

When asked how to avoid this, Cai noted that if China sticks to reform and opening up policies, the country will maintain stable economic growth.

Additionally, GDP per capita is not equal to per capita disposable income. Measures such as cutting taxes are needed to increase the overall disposable income of Chinese citizens and promote the growth of domestic demand to drive economic development.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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