China will overtake the US economically in six years, an official research institute predicts, and go on to become the world’s most important country in three decades more, state media said yesterday.
The findings came from the Nation’s Health Report issued by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Global Times said, without giving details of the criteria used for the prediction.
China’s economy would be larger than the US’ by 2019, it cited the report as saying, and China’s “international status” would exceed that of the US by 2049.
China ranked as the 11th “healthiest” country out of about 100 nations, it said, just behind Costa Rica, with Sweden at No. 1.
The Xinhua news agency said China was given a national health status of “up to standard,” while the US, Japan and Britain were deemed “health deficient.”
“National health” was defined as a country’s “overall conditions ... using resource sufficiency and wealth distribution as the major criteria,” the Global Times said.
The report could not be independently obtained.
China’s stunning economic growth, increase in military spending and overlapping security interests in the Asia-Pacific region with the US have sparked concerns the countries could find themselves increasingly at odds in the coming decades as they jockey for global influence.
However, the Global Times said the report’s findings were seen by some as overly nationalistic.
“The report is indicative of an anti-US sentiment in Chinese society,” Fang Shimin (方是民), a whistleblower on academic fraud who uses the pseudonymn Fang Zhouzi (方舟子), told the paper.
“It casts the US as a potential threat and links the goals of China’s national revival to surpassing the US,” he added.
International analysts widely expect China’s economy to overtake the US’ in terms of GDP some time in the first half of this century, but they also say the US is likely to remain wealthier on a per capita basis given China’s 1.3 billion-strong population.