China will have the world’s largest economy in 2020

At least, according to a report by Standard Charter Bank as reported by Big Think:

  • The Standard Chartered Bank, a British multinational banking and financial services company, recently issued a report to clients outlining projections about the world economy up until 2030.

  • The report predicts Asian economies will grow significantly in the next decade, taking seven of the top 10 spots on the list of the world’s biggest economies by 2030.

  • However, the researchers formed their predictions by measuring purchasing power parity at GDP, which is an approach that not all economists would use in these kinds of projections.

The Big Think article discusses the last point, that according to exchange rates rather than purchasing power parity, the US will remain the largest economy for a few more years.  It also makes the point that the total overall size of the economy is different from the GDP per capita, the income for the average person in the economy, with China at $18,000 and the US at $63,000.

However, I think this misses the point.  Historically, total economic size equaled economic power, and economic power equaled political and military power.  The ascent of China, and Asia overall, will eventually change the political and cultural orientation of the world.  Deft maneuvering by the US on the international scene might delay this for a while (although that’s decidedly not what we’re getting with our current dumpster fire of an administration) but the long term writing appears to be on the wall.

The world seems primed to be a very different place in coming decades.

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3 Responses to China will have the world’s largest economy in 2020

  1. Engels went a lot further. While China has not developed into a capitalist nation but a socialist one which has learnt, at great cost post both the Russian and Chinese revolutions, a crucial lesson – financial reward for individual initiative – particularly when developing from an agrarian base with widespread impoverishment, I believe his prognostication as to why the US (and the West) will have to become socialist is correct. He wrote
    ‘The war in China has given the death-blow to the old China. Isolation has become impossible; the introduction of railways, steam-engines, electricity, and modern large-scale industry has become a necessity, if only for reasons of military defence. But with it the old economic system of small peasant agriculture, where the family also made its industrial products itself, falls to pieces too, and with it the whole old social system which made relatively dense population possible. Millions will be turned out and forced to emigrate; and these millions will find their way even to Europe, and en masse. But as soon as Chinese competition sets in on a mass scale, it will rapidly bring things to a head in your country and over here, and thus the conquest of China by capitalism will at the same time furnish the impulse for the overthrow of capitalism in Europe and America…’
    Engels to Friedrich Adolf Sorge in Hoboken; London, November 10, 1894, Marx Engels, Selected Correspondence, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1982, 450-451

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wouldn’t ascribe China’s rise to communism. From what I’ve seen, its economy didn’t really start growing until it adopted a lot of capitalist institutions. China’s growth largely comes from its population. If communism deserves any credit, it might be for educating that population.

      China’s authoritarian system is, to me, the most worrying aspect of its coming dominance. I hope it doesn’t herald the end of the democratic age.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree to the extent that whatever a person, party or nation asserts of their self or entity may differ very far from what is shown through the key test of their practice. Communism is the bogeyman of the capitalist class – China, like the Soviet Union, is not communist but socialist – it has a single dominant party that oversees the Chinese state. This is an immense power far beyond the obligatory divisions of Democrat/Republican or, as in Australia, Labor (note the American spelling)/Liberal. I think an excellent test of whatever ideas one upholds is to apply one’s criticisms of anything as questions to that aspect of what one accepts or believes in.

        Liked by 1 person

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