China's economy has surpassed Japan's to become the No. 2 economy in the world, but economists deem that America doesn't need to worry about China leaving the US in the dust anytime soon, said an article in the Christian Science Monitor.
According to the article, China probably will not surpass US under current growth rates. "The numbers illustrate the vast gulf. The Chinese economy, the International Monetary Fund estimates, will total about $5.4 trillion this year, while the US will be about $14.8 trillion – almost three times the size of the Chinese economy."
To catch up with the US, China will have to grow extremely fast while the US economy dawdles, which most economists believe is unlikely, said the article. "For China to catch the US in 10 years, its economy would have to grow at more than 12 percent per annum, while the US grows at 2 percent," Jay Bryson, international economist at Wells Fargo Economics in Charlotte, N.C., estimates.
Moreover, John Hawksworth, an economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers, makes the point that "Chinese growth will begin to slow after 2020 because of its rapidly aging population."
Even when China's gross domestic product moves past America's, said the article, China, with a population of 1.3 billion people, will still be far behind the US, with its 307 million people, in terms of standard of living. "The average Chinese will not live as good as the average American for at least a century," Bryson estimates.
But Bryson predicted that as China is becoming dominant, it's only a matter of time until China catches the US.