China’s state-run Global Times gloated on Sunday that unless the United States starts a new “Cold War” with China, the Wuhan coronavirus has guaranteed America’s decline, and China will become the dominant world power within the next decade.
The Global Times quoted a report from the Center for Economics and Business Research in the United Kingdom that concluded China suffered from the pandemic, but the U.S. suffered far more and will need much more time to fully restore its economy, so China should take over as the largest economy in the world by 2028. The Chinese editorialists insinuated several times that even this forecast was deliberately distorted to make China’s economy seem weaker than it really is.
The Western world is supposedly panicked by this possibility and determined to sabotage China’s ascendancy by any means necessary:
Especially during the 2020s when China strives to develop its economy, the US is bound to invest a lot of energy into obstructing this process. Jeopardizing China’s development will become an inherent US strategy in the future, which will add to the cost of China’s development.
So first of all, we should not be led by the nose by Western predictions that China’s GDP will surpass the US’ GDP faster than expected. We should not easily believe China’s economic growth will be smooth and underestimate the economic risks. China has a tough road ahead to walk if it wants to transform into a quality-centered economy. For instance, it is never easy to make technological breakthroughs. We should have the courage to face setbacks but remain resolute.
Second, we must stay strategically humble and cautious. Certain elites in the US and the West hope for a “decisive” strategic confrontation between China and the US. China should avoid such confrontations in the next few decades to drag down their machinations. The US system determines that it is hard to harness social mobilization to comprehensively confront another major country. As long as China does not provide any chances for the US, then the latter cannot unilaterally close the door for bilateral cooperation.
“As long as China and the U.S. remain peaceful and do not go into a cold war, given China’s development potential, China’s economic development will continue to grow faster than that of the U.S. for a long time in the future. That is what U.S. right-wing elites fear the most,” the Global Times concluded.
The Center for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) report concluded that America and Europe should carefully study how China’s economy recovered from the pandemic, and how other Asian economies are growing quickly. India, which is allegedly on track to overtake German and Japan to become the world’s Number Three economy when the U.S. drops to Number Two, was cited as another example.
“Typically, we compare ourselves with other Western economies and miss out on what often is best practice, especially in the rapidly growing economies in Asia,” the authors wrote.
CEBR projected 1.9 percent annual growth for the U.S. until around 2024, at which point it would slow even further to 1.6 percent, while China would grow at 5.7 percent until 2025 and then slow to 4.5 percent.
The authors of the report praised China’s combination of “centralized control” in some areas combined with a “free market economy” in others for its ability to cope with disasters like the coronavirus, although they noted the average American will earn more and enjoy a higher standard of living long after the pandemic helps China’s economy to grow larger than America’s.
“For some time, an overarching theme of global economics has been the economic and soft power struggle between the United States and China. The Covid-19 [Chinese coronavirus] pandemic and corresponding economic fallout have certainly tipped this rivalry in China’s favor,” CEBR concluded.
Bloomberg News on Monday pointed to one possible glitch in China’s plan for economic supremacy: growing apprehension in the all-important tech sector that Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regulators will use heavy-handed antitrust investigations and other measures to assert their power over high-flying billionaires like Alibaba’s Jack Ma.
“The Chinese government is putting more pressure or wants to have more control on the tech firms. There is still very big selling pressure on firms like Alibaba, Tencent or Meituan. These companies have been growing at a pace deemed by Beijing as too fast and have scales that are too big,” Amber Hill Capital Ltd. asset management director Jackson Wong told Bloomberg.
Sources told Bloomberg the CCP is not trying to completely destroy billionaires like Ma, but instead deliver a carefully calibrated, “very public” rebuke, putting the tech giants on notice that Beijing has “lost patience with the outsized power of its technology moguls.” The lingering question will be whether the reins of political control are pulled so tight that China’s projected growth forecasts flatten out sooner than anticipated.