China's economy could be 2.5 times that of the US by 2030, based on Japan's experience and the yuan's appreciation against the greenback, a senior Chinese economist says in Harvard Business Review's Chinese edition.
The forecast by Justin Lin Yifu, head of Peking University's China Center for Economic Research and chief economist-designate of the World Bank - in the May issue of the magazine published on Thursday - is one of the most ambitious for China's economic growth.
By 2030, it is possible that the per capita GDP of China reaches half of that of the Americans. Given that the Chinese population might be five times that of the US at that time, the Chinese GDP would be 2.5 times of the US.
The World Bank, where Lin will assume his post at the end of this month, said last month that China had surpassed Japan to become the second largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity.
China's GDP in 2007 was 24.66 trillion yuan ($3.38 trillion) and per capita GDP was $2,556, official figures suggest.
Per capita GDP of the US was estimated at $45,845, according to the IMF.
According to the country's long-term plan, per capita GDP in 2020 should be $3,500, twice that in 2000.
Lin said China's path of development through technological upgrades is right, but how far it succeeds can only be judged according to past experience.
China's situation in 2000 was very similar to Japan in1960: Life expectancy, infant mortality, proportion of agriculture in the whole economy, and Engel's coefficient - the proportion of expenditure on food - are also similar.
Japan then managed to grow at a high speed for almost 30 years.
"I believe China's economic momentum is very likely to maintain a similar growth rate of the past 25 years, at about 8 percent," he said in the magazine.
A stronger yuan also helped to narrow the gap between the nominal figures in China and the US. The currency has climbed 4 percent against the greenback so far this year and 15 percent since China ended the peg to the US dollar on July 21, 2005.