Not as soon as some would think. An intelligent article debunks some myths:
According to Friday’s China Daily (and a host of other newspapers around the world), a just published Gallup survey claims that most Americans think China will be the world’s largest economy within 20 years. We obviously need to take these opinions with a grain of salt since, according to the same survey, 40% of Americans believe the China is today the world’s top economy, compared to 33% who believe it is the US. Since the US economy is currently more than four times the size of China’s, it is a little hard to understand why 40% of Americans think China’s is the world’s largest, but there you have it.
I suppose it is the combination of China hype and US paranoia that explains these bizarre opinions. To their credit, it doesn’t seem that informed opinion in China takes the results of this survey very seriously. The China Daily article pointed out that Chinese experts are a lot less confident about the validity of these predictions than their American counterparts, and I suspect they are right.
I suggest you look it over. The list at the end of what would have to happen for China to actually overtake the US anytime soon is especially interesting.
I don’t like putting up articles with practically no commentary, but it’s all my schedule will allow. Plus, this will allow me to put an end to the last open thread, which became unusually noxious.
Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.