China could overtake the US as the world’s largest economy if it maintains annual growth of 8 percent over the next 20 years, the World Bank’s chief economist said yesterday.
China, which last year overtook Japan as the No. 2 economy, has already set a growth target of 8 percent for this year, and is aiming for 7 percent a year from this year to 2015.
“China may become the largest economy in the world by 2030,” Justin Lin (林毅夫) told an economic forum on China development in Hong Kong, saying its economic size may then be twice as large as the US, measured by purchasing power parity.
He said China has been the world’s fastest growing nation over the past two decades and grew at a -“miracle” annual growth rate of 10.4 percent between 1990 and last year, a sharp contrast to the performance of other transitional economies.
The economist, however, said expansion may be hampered by a weak global recovery from the financial crisis and urged the country to deal with domestic challenges such as addressing its increasing income inequality.
He also said global warming may pose a “real challenge” to China’s long-term sustainability, but urged China — the world’s biggest polluter — to seize the opportunity and instead turn itself into a new leader in green technology.
“It’s necessary for China to continue its growth. These are challenges for China, but they are also opportunities for China,” said Lin, who assumed the World Bank post since 2008.