China's national flags are hung in front of the Oriental Pearl TV Tower in Shanghai, the country's financial hub, Sept 28, 2008. [Asianewsphoto]
China will likely overtake Japan to become the world's second-largest economy in 2010 at the latest in terms of nominal dollars, according to a research paper issued recently by the China Policy Institute of University of Nottingham.
Yao Shujie, one of the authors, predicted two years ago that China would become the second-largest economy in 2018.
The current economic crisis gives China a "once-in-a-century" opportunity to achieve a much speedier economic convergence with the world's largest industrialized economies, the paper said.
The financial crisis has hit every country hard and China is no exception. However, Yao's research found that the United States, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom are not likely to recover to their 2007 output level until 2011 or 2012, but China is expected to expand at seven to eight percent in 2009.
With this trend, China will greatly shorten the time needed to catch up with the US and become the world's largest economy although it's less certain that it will happen in the next two decades, the paper said.
China overtook Germany to become the world's third-largest economy in 2007 after Chinese authorities revised upward the figures for growth during that year.