US to remain sole global economic superpower until 2035

Chinese government think tank says

13 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

NEW YORK: The United States will remain the world’s only global economic superpower until 2035 even though China’s role in the world economic landscape will become more important, according to Beijing’s latest predictions, in an apparent toning down of the mainland’s public ambitions for its future role in global economy.

While the report by the Development Research Centre of the State Council (DRC) does not directly address the rivalry between China and US, it does attempt to project a relatively low profile role for China over the next two decades, report agencies.

It is often assumed that China will overtake the US as the world’s number one economy, or at least gain the same prestige as a global economic superpower, within the next decade.

Standard Chartered Bank predicted in January that China would overtake the US as the world’s largest economy as soon as 2020.

The latest humbler predictions from the state-owned think tank, a summary of which was published in the official Economic Daily newspaper on Tuesday, came at a time when Beijing’s global push has met growing resistance and its growth prospects have been darkened by rising hostilities with Washington.

According to the DRC report, the US economy will remain dominant until 2035 – the same year singled out by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October 2017 as the year when China would become a “basically modernised country”.

While Xi’s speech referencing the year 2035 did not include a specific gross domestic product target, it is thought that this is the point at which he expected the size of the Chinese economy to have caught, and likely surpassed, that of the US, according to Zhong Wei, a professor with Beijing Normal University.

The DRC researchers were headed by Long Guoqiang, who was an aide to Vice-Premier Liu He during He’s tenure at the think tank and is currently an important government adviser in handling external economic ties.

The DRC noted that while China’s economic status will rise over the next two decades, it will remain behind the US.

“The US will remain as the [sole] global [economic] superpower,” they wrote.

“In the short term, US consumption will continue to prosper and be a key factor reinforcing economic growth,” the report continued, citing the 2 per cent long-term potential growth rate projected by the US Federal Reserve.