BEIJING -- China's per capita GDP will reach 3,000 US dollars by 2010, a decade ahead of the schedule set by the 2002 Communist Party National Congress, a government think tank expert said.
Lu Xueyi, an expert with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said the figure would reach 6,000 US dollars in 2020 if it maintained the current growth rate. It was also aided by the Chinese currency's continued appreciation against the US dollar.
The country's per capita GDP had grown by about 200 US dollars annually in the last two years to 2,200 US dollars in 2007, he estimated.
China had been in the fast lane in recent years as the nation took two years to raise its per capita GDP to 1,000 US dollars from 800 US dollars in 2000. It took another four years to reach 2,000 dollars.
"The day (of 3,000 US dollar per capita GDP) will come sooner than expected, as the current economic growth is faster than the annual average of 7.2 percent necessary for the realization of this goal," Zhuang Jian, an Asian Development Bank economist, said.
China's economy was forecast to have expanded by about 11.5 percent last year.
Li Peilin, director of the CASS's Institute of Sociology, warned, however, that China should "prevent the mean value from covering up the problems the majority (of people) have" as the country's rich-poor, urban-rural divide was widening.
Attention should be paid to "how different social stratums feel about their life," he said.
Last year, the incomes of China's rural residents increased by eight percent -- the fastest pace in 11 years. The growth was still short of those in the cities by five percentage points, according to the CASS 2008 Society Bluebook report.