December 28th, 2009
06:42 AM GMT
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With the revision of China’s 2008 GDP to $4.5 trillion, the nation now is poised to overtake Japan as the world’s second largest economy.

With 8 percent growth forecast for 2009 and Japan’s economy, which stood at $4.9 trillion last year, emerging from its worst recession since World War II, economists predict that China soon will stand second only to the United States in total economic output.

“It is only a matter of time before China's total economic volume surpass that of Japan given China's robust growth,” Xu Lianzhong, a researcher with the National Development and Reform Commission, told state-run media.

If it overtakes Japan, it will complete a dramatic five-year economic rise that saw it leap-frog the economies of the United Kingdom in 2005 and Germany in 2007.

The power of such rankings, however, is more emotional than substantive. China’s explosive growth reflects newly created wealth, not a zero-sum game: The gains of China were not the cause of equivalent economic losses among the world’s top economies. Indeed, the growth of China has been a boon to all developed economies across the world.

Still, the emotional weight of such rankings is strong. Whether China’s economy has already eclipsed Japan may be subject to debate, but the opening of the Wuhan-Guangzhou bullet train line this weekend gives China sole claim to the fastest trains in the world – once a point of pride in post-War Japan.

And on Sunday, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao made his strongest statement yet to state media that China won’t bow to foreign pressure to float the value of its currency – which implicitly suggests China now has the clout to weather criticism from its top trading partners.

So once it overtakes Japan, will it also overtake the U.S.? Most economists say yes – but not anytime soon.

China’s total economy is still one-third the size of the U.S., and conservative estimates don’t see its total output eclipsing the U.S. until around 2025.

Also important to keep in mind what Xu Lianzhong, from the National Development and Reform Commission, told China state media: “What matters more is the per capita figure, and in the case of China, the total figure has to be divided by 1.3 billion.”

Even if China has already eclipsed Japan in total economic output, the average Chinese income in 2008 was $3,200 – compared to $38,000 in Japan.

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soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. George

    Actually China has been number two largest economy for sometime now in terms of PPP(purchasing power parity) which is what matters in terms of people's real economic well being.

    December 28, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  2. phon sophat (Preyveng)

    In the world economic is very better than the past year.this cos the china and india have the big economic and have the demands and supplies efficiently.more over this growth is going to make that all the developed countries which have many population are going to better economic and shortly say deep growth in future. for japan is included too for economic growth by human resource and good self controled of own my trails which is shown that future is going to be good one for china and india and Japan economic,moreover this can be the biggest economic in the world.Cos all policies of controlling economic of theirs showing is good and self -help too and in area too.

    December 29, 2009 at 3:02 am |
  3. Arthur

    The difference between $38K and $3,200 may seem a big difference but don't forget Japan is probably the most expensive country in the world in terms of COL (cost of living) while China only holds 1 or 2 CITIES (Beijing and Shanghai) that are not even on the top 10 highest COL in the world.....

    December 30, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  4. Eric

    Yes Japan is very costly to live in, but $3,200 a year is still extremley little to live on. Ive been to Beijing twice and the goods are not noticably less expensive.

    December 31, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  5. fatboy

    Being the number two or now is rather meaningless. The most important measure is per capita income, and in this case is pretty small compare to any major economy. China has made excellent progress but it's still a long way to go to improve people's lives.

    January 1, 2010 at 6:02 am |
  6. zhuodc

    I am chinese,chinese goods is more expensive than 5 years ago,particular property.

    January 1, 2010 at 6:25 am |
  7. cxx

    $3200 is a large amount money in China, but average people can get only one tens of that. That means if you create 100$, you can get 10$.

    January 1, 2010 at 7:07 am |

    USA's shrinking Revenues show that Its GDP is shrinking and with Unemployment and Twin Deficits STILL a Major Deterent to Investment. The Continuous Erosion of the value of US Dollar and US Dollar Assets show that soon The Gross External Liabilities of over $ 15 Trillion Clearly point to USA Defaulting in its Commitments and Debts. The Financial System is already weak and 3 BIG Commercial Banks are close to Liquidation due to not meeting the Capital Advocacy requirements (Already Porvisions for BAD Debts is not being done and Amortization to avoid booking Losses). These Gross external Liabilities are NOT Backed by any Reserves Only $ 281 Billion worth of Gold at current prices are left. THUS DEFAULT IS CLEAR.

    January 1, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  9. zyon xu

    Now China is also expensive for living, especially for some big cities, such as Beijing, shanghai, also Hanzhou. The main issue for living in china is the house. the price of house raise 80% in the past year. salary increse can't catch up the house cost incrase. Many young people can't buy house.

    January 2, 2010 at 4:12 am |
  10. JesterJames

    I don't think the world have enough raw resource to support another economy the size of united states. We will see $10 dollar gas before we see China's GDP equaling US. The thing is, if China can't catch and pass US in 20 years, their demographics will start working against them due to the one child policy. That's assuming no major political event derails their growth. Unfortunate thing is the global crisis have actually helped CCP's legitamacy. Because CCP handle was able to keep the country growing despite the worldwide recession, they feel they have the political capital to firm up their control, and slow down some of the plitical reform and opening up. The ironic thing is China always do better when they are more relaxed and outward looking.

    January 2, 2010 at 7:35 am |
  11. Daluklu

    Looking back of Japan when it became the 2nd largest economic in the last century, the momentum that it generated was from their solid industries with outstanding world brands and organizations.

    By looking at today's China, we can find no world brand (apart from Tsing Tao Beer) as the economy gained its 2nd place by providing OEM outputs to the rest of the world.

    On the financial side, it has the largest bank in the world but has no major presence in the highest level of global financial arena.

    Domestically, the free rolling of the property market made it one of the fastest growing property market in the world. The inflation of land value will result in increase in cost of goods produced. At the time the world's economy comes back in future, other countries might find it difficult to buy goods from China as it becomes too expensive to purchase.

    The challenge is not on how big it becomes, the challenge is sustainability.

    January 2, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  12. yblai

    NO matter at which places you earn a living and living there with how
    high the income you get. The most concern is the money you earn in that places to the purchasing power of the money you can purchase what you required in that places.

    January 2, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  13. john

    I have been living in Beijing for 4 years and the prices here (if I just maintain my moderate european standard) are almost the same as in Europe mid size city. I make good salary but I cannot afford to buy an average apartment that costs around 3000 euro/meter 2, same price as outskirt of Paris. To maintain basic living in Beijing for a family of 4, at least 1000 euro goes just for food and transportation...\
    Bejing is one of the most expensive cities I lived in ( I lived in Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles, VAncouver, Toronto, Taipei, Tokyo )

    January 2, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  14. Pete

    Very often reports by CNN tend to be over amplified(Tabloid-like). You cant compare 38K to 3200K, So many factors has to be taken into consideration. Perhaps the producers of CNN are not familiar with economics!!

    January 2, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  15. yuki

    actually the Chinese economy is booming
    and no one can stop that. $32000 look like a huge number
    but it is less purchase power compare with China
    and China is holding massive national reserve and it is the big creditor of US.

    January 2, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
  16. xuligang

    I agree with George.

    January 3, 2010 at 6:35 am |
  17. conroy

    The most important thing is the living conditions of normal Chinese people are getting better obviousely each year. It makes no sense of comparing the $38K and the $3.2K.

    January 3, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  18. Omer

    China has cash. West has only credit that is funded by the chinese, japanese and the middle east. Convert oil trade into yuan and the west will last less than a year.

    I think it is only a matter of time that history repeats itself and the east once again becomes the richest part of the world.

    January 4, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
  19. hopechina

    i am a chinese,and i pride of my country.we are workhard guys,no matter what you say ,we have our own way .we are the best race in the world. thanks

    January 5, 2010 at 3:14 am |
  20. dickyminky

    i believe china will be nice to make a bussiness with us. i hope a big capital from china will be investing in thiland by building or something about selling land or house. trust me my nice friends.

    January 5, 2010 at 5:02 am |
  21. DFly

    As a Chinese, I am happy to read positive news regarding China's financial standing in the world. What I want to tell the Chinese people is that these are merely statistics, nothing to shout about if you do not have the grace and culture to go along. Be humble and do not let these statistics get into your head.

    Remember China attain this current position through hardship and backbreaking work from the people, remember the migrant workers, definitely not by some stroke of fortune. You were arrogance once, in the last century when you belittle foreigners and refused to learn from them.

    Do not repeat the same mistakes, instead let me remind you to have humility and let others judge you, do not blow your own trumpet. I have never felt so proud and happy to be a Chinese, I think this will be the best time to be a Chinese, so please don't do anything silly to destroy the good time.

    Keep up the hardwork and do not let your guard down, keep marching forward and never never stop learning, especially from others.

    January 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
  22. Victor

    to john and others:

    Beijing's cost of living is actually very low for ordinary people. You guys feel it's expensive because you only go to those places for foreign expats. I don't know what you eat and how you transport with 1000 euro per month, but if you cook yourself and use public transportation, you can do it well within 120 euro per person. I guess you take taxi all the time (if you don't hire a private driver), go to restaurants often, or only buy food from high-end stores. but just imagin how much it would cost you if you do the same in Paris. In Beijing the tax fare is 0.2 euro per kilometer and you can hire a nanny or private driver for 150 or 200 euro a month. In no case can you get the same in Paris, San Francisco, Los Angeles, VAncouver, Toronto, Taipei, Tokyo.

    I think we are talking about the cost of living of ordinary people but not expats. If you don't know where to go to buy decent but cheap staff, i can show you next time i go to Beijing ... he he ...

    January 5, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  23. whisker

    What China really need now is balance. Not only the balance between rich and poor, west and east, big cities and countryside, but also the balance in economic structure and energy consumption. Otherwise, its growth will never be a stable one and is always risking the danger of collapes, no matter how fast it is.

    January 6, 2010 at 1:51 am |
  24. dankezhang

    oh,it's so funny。
    it's said that without that growth ,China will in chaos。I just care that China won't in chaos。

    January 6, 2010 at 3:01 am |
  25. carywoo

    Actually ,China's economy grows a lot based on the hard work from the low positioned people,such as farmworker and college students in the past few years. What i want to say is that,the governors are all donkey should be killed because of their harshness to the low positioned people..

    January 6, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  26. Kenny

    Chinese high GDP only bases on huge population sum, it is not real.

    January 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  27. Spooly-T

    Numbers do not matter.

    Just do not underestimate what the Chinese can do, and the pace it can accomplish things.

    January 6, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  28. pp小猪

    Chinese total economic data is great,But the normal Chinese people can not get the share of the fruit in the dramastic growth of economy,and the gap between the rich and poor get larger.Even if China surpass the US and become the biggest economic entity in the world,so what? The improvement of the living condition of the rural people in China is more important than the data displayed to the world.

    January 7, 2010 at 2:41 am |
  29. daniel

    I am from Hong Kong and have been working in China for 3 years.
    What I have seen is a rapidly changed environment in these years. (Neither positive or negative............) And as a Chinese, I dont think the ranking is meaningful when we all can notice that there are a lot of problems in this countries. There are heavily polluted air and water supply and I can't find the sense of safety among peoples living here. Please do not try to overblow this ranking before we found that all people in China are living happily in this place, please. I am angry.

    January 7, 2010 at 3:47 am |
  30. Mike Wang

    I have to say u know China pretty well. As a chinese, I don't think China can keep such a growth for another 30years. Not olny demographic problem and the unpredictable political well-being, but also the pollution problem and most imortantly resources. China will have to slow down to get rid of such prolems and find a new way of development facing the global warming and resources shortage. The developed countries like the US have maken use most of the resources around the world, I don't think the globe can support another as big an economy as the US. But we have to solve it, and not in the way of the first ones getting everything and the new comers getting nothing.

    January 7, 2010 at 6:31 am |
  31. Mike Wang

    I grew up in the northwestern rural district of China. I think Whisker spoke out the Achilles heel of current Chinese social and econimic problem. U foreigners can only see the rich Chinese big cities the the Southeasten country. But U never see the ordinary people in the western rural parts of the country who earn only about 100 dollars a month, while paying for education of children, medicine and pension for eldlers all by themselves.

    What China really need now is balance. Not only the balance between rich and poor, west and east, big cities and countryside, but also the balance in economic structure and energy consumption. Otherwise, its growth will never be a stable one and is always risking the danger of collapes, no matter how fast it is.

    January 7, 2010 at 7:00 am |
  32. Daluklu

    Quote : “China has cash. Just don’t underestimate what the Chinese can do. We are the best race in the world”.

    This is one of the most dangerous attitudes from not a small portion of the population in the country possessed. This reflected the mentality of people who think “中国崛起 – the serge of China ” is an impeccable achievement. With this attitude, the knowledge and experience what the country needed most [to move on to the real open world stage] will not be learned or being taught. This would impede the growth and advancement of China.

    There are comments which I think are very constructive from this blog…

    Quote :
    - Be humble and do not let these statistics get into your head
    - Let others judge you, do not blow your own trumpet
    - What China really needs now is balance. Not only between the rich and poor, east and west, urban and country side, but the balance in economic structure and energy consumption

    China will become a real world power with these attitudes.

    January 7, 2010 at 7:20 am |
  33. Irene

    I am a teenager Chinese girl. I am currently living in America rite now, but I want to live in Beijing. The thing is if you have a bigger family your income will be probably greater than the people with A few people in their family. A lot of children will live with their parents for a long time. So people just like steopping insulting us 'cause your just like racist or jealous or something............>.<

    January 7, 2010 at 11:59 pm |
  34. Keith

    China got to where they are using Japanese and Western practices.
    This will defently be a good propaganda tool for the Chinese goverment ....but most of there people still are very poor and must work in basic slave labor conditions....They are still 40 years behind Japan and the west when it comes to standard of living

    January 8, 2010 at 4:28 am |
  35. CARTER

    Chinese government offical is corrupt.They should keep their penies well!

    January 8, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  36. huang

    I am a chinese boy,living in china.China will overtake Japan,but we still poor

    January 8, 2010 at 11:52 am |
  37. smiths

    china's gdp is mainly made up of the trading amount of the real estate, the aparment price is doubled in vast majority cities now than the beginning of the year 2009. so this statistical figure probably would be a beautiful bubble blowed by the authority. the eco will be collapsed if the bubble is broken.

    January 9, 2010 at 4:51 am |
  38. Andy

    The BRICs are coming to rule, dude. BRAZIL, RUSSIA, INDIA and CHINA!

    January 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  39. ray

    What I want to point out is we, chinese are enough humble camparing westerns. Look how these white people treat chinese and Asians working in their country. Why they are second citizens in western countries, but westerns are respeced in China? That is unfair. We care too much about how westerns consider us. Long time ago, we are closed and poor. But now we have money and power. We should treat those white monkeys like the way they treat us. Dont ask us to be humber. You should be humber first.

    Let us play and use white women and throw away!!

    January 9, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  40. George

    Thinking about the population of China, so I don't think it can be referenced!

    January 9, 2010 at 8:35 pm |
  41. herry

    long way to go

    but something really good

    if CHINA can solve with demoratic problems, it can get more stronger

    January 10, 2010 at 3:56 am |
  42. Peter Lee

    All good points. While we all should be humble to learn the mistakes made by the developed world and how they fixed them, China should be courageous, innovative and responsible to resolve all these problems.

    It's true that these problems deterioate fast in China in recent years. Yet, income gap is a product of capitalism. Just look at America, the gap between New York and New Orlean is bad. Even within New York, the poor neighbourhood is no where near the central park area.

    Environmental concern is legitimate in China, but it is still less than 1/4 as polluted as the G7. Crime situation is getting worse, but the number of people in jail is less than 1/3 of the America.

    Throughout the last thirty years, I have been living in 3 continents and experience first hand what life is like in various developed countries as well as in China. I can only say we all have similar problems.

    If you think your government is bad. Every country will tell you the same thing. Corruption is bad in China; but don't you frequently read the news in Western world that their government is rumoured to be associated with corruption, crimes, etc. not to mention recession and bad decisions.

    In reality, the solutions lie mostly with the people at the street, not the government. With you hardworking and smart Chinese, I am sure you will have a bright future and be a responsible memeber of the world.

    January 10, 2010 at 4:08 am |
  43. xavier

    don't worry guys, a better China means a better just make a wish to China to our world...

    January 10, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  44. loan

    It is a really fantastic growth of China. Chinese are getting much attention from all over the world due to their miraculous intelligence. Vietnam is next ti China, and I still wonder why they can do such thing. Hope the second largest economies will be China

    January 10, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  45. gatti

    Chinese high GDP only bases on huge population sum, it is not real.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:20 am |
  46. Bubba

    Chinese or not Chinese. It doesn't really matters. What matter is that China will determine its own faith. So leave them alone and go on with your own life.

    January 11, 2010 at 3:02 am |
  47. Director

    If you are happy with the economic success of the country most responsible for:
    a) the largest number of child slaves;
    b) the greatest trade in body parts of endangered and protected species;
    c) the most environmentally harmful industries and infrastructure;
    d) the genocide of more than a million Tibetans and destruction of 8,000 religious structures;
    e) the highest number of mock trials and summary executions of political dissidents,
    you should keep buying those cheap goods from China many of which are toxic to the point of lethality and dangerous to your family. It is those "bargains" that are financing all of this malfeasance which would not be tolerated in any civilized nation. There is nothing made in China that anyone needs. Saving a few pennies by buying their crap makes you complicit in their crimes.

    January 11, 2010 at 7:11 am |
  48. Andrew

    China is in the best period of time, keep going........

    China ,China China is the most humble country in the world, people are willing to learn from the others, and millions are learning English now.... We Chinese will be stronger and stronger......we know their language buit they do not know ours...haha

    January 11, 2010 at 7:35 am |
  49. leon

    With all your comments good and bad, I have to say that as a Chinese I love China. However, as a common people. I hate the corrupt bureaucracies. Especially those who use their forerunners' political capital to slave modest while strong-minded people.

    Things will change. Let's go and see.

    January 11, 2010 at 2:05 pm |
  50. PhillyLIU

    There is no doublt China is in a better position now ,but we neee learn more and need developing in many eares

    January 12, 2010 at 12:49 am |
  51. Kevin

    Comparing Per Capita between China and Japan is (in my opinion) somewhat misleading. China has 1.3 billion people, most of that 1.3 billion Chinese mostly works on farms. Only a small percent of Chinese are considered wealthy (in Western standard). Japan meanwhile has a population of around 128 millions, most of which are educated and held good paying job. China has to divide its GDP by 1.3 billion while Japan only divide its GDP by 128 millions.

    January 12, 2010 at 1:44 am |
  52. Andrei

    Okay, whatever you guys say, I have to put it like this:

    For big country like China, will GDP per capita rise to the level of Japan or US before the total GDP surpass that of Japan or US?

    Think about the trend, how much time did China spend to raise its GDP per capita from USD 300 to USD 3000, and what US and Japan did during the same time?

    January 12, 2010 at 5:24 am |
  53. SharpHan

    Actually, what I care about is not the rank of Chinese GDP but common citizens' daily life. What I can tell everyone, maybe most of you coming from US, is the changes happened in my hometown, east of China at around 400km north of Beijing, from 2000 to 2009, most of my relatives completely doubled their life level: the houses, cars, salaries(maybe 3 times??) and so on. But, there still has lots of problems need to be solved. like the public security issues in some regions, citizen health insurances, government corruption,etc. maybe thoes were why we called developing country.

    January 12, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  54. SharpHan

    another thing I wanna metion is the currency exchange rate. I think now the rate between USD and RMB is around 6, but if you come to China, you will know, Chinese spend 10 RMB just like American spend 1 USD or 100 JPY.

    January 12, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  55. yggdrasil

    i'm a chinese, and what i want to say is the real estate is toooooo expensive, i think a lot of GDP growth is related to that bubble.

    the avaerage white collar's salary for the whole year is only enough for buying the toilet, if i want to eat and pay for transportation, maybe 2/3 of a toilet i think

    January 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  56. Rasta

    China will never learn humility. Even with the success of their economy they are still preaching racial superiority. I teach in schools and there are kids who believe that China has the best military and most advanced fighter jets. Just because when a new Chinese technology is introduced, it is discussed as if it were best of the best. Some of my kids still think that China sent the first man to space and his name was Yang Li wei and that the US sending a man to the moon was a fake. Where is the humility? This is the achilles heels. To be blind to your own weakness won't make it go away. Don't get me wrong my wife is a hardworking Chinese from a very poor village. She is a great person and comes from a great family, but they represent the people who are not reaping the benefits of this one-sided economic growth. I was actually surprised by how much they lived on per month and how hard they worked on the farms. Until China can address these problems they will never be the superpower they want the world to see.

    January 13, 2010 at 4:36 am |
  57. BB

    I think the chinese economy is in boom due to the large scale manufacturing and export which forms a huge percentge of their GDP. Developed coutries depend on china only for their cheap goods and not for their quality. There is no way of China getting up to the standards of any developed country . If so, their products will become expensive and lose its Global market to other developing countries. China has to remain poor to sustain, If it becomes rich, then it does not have any patents or indigenous brands to sell to the world to emply their people.

    January 13, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
  58. lirong

    as a chinese, i'm so glad to see so many people from different nations are interested in china's status now. undoutedly, china is among the fastest-growing countries in the world mostly in economic way, and besides, the living of chinese people, especially the ones living in the rural area, is improving rapidly due to the urbanization. the numbers of the total economic volume only display china as a great nation, but can't make every chinese a happy guy. still most of chinese are struggling to make a living and the costs of daily commodities will only grow due to the present-slowly growing inflation. chinese never lack the righteous attitudes since last century, defeated and invaded by so many other nations. what we need to be mostly concerned now is that how we keep these attitudes and most importantly, choose the right way to go. the situation now in china are very likely to that of Japan few decades ago when Japanese economy booms and nearly surpassed US, but lately the property bubble devatated the whole economy, and along with the arrogance of japanese.
    now china is developing in a way no one has ever tried before, whether it will be another boom or another doom, it is up to us,not only chinese, also the rest of the world.

    January 14, 2010 at 11:15 am |
  59. LLE

    I am a Chinese,I want to tell you that the rapid groth of economic in China is baesd on the environmental damage, Many trees were cuted down and large number of resources are extracted,if you walk on the street in china you will feel the fcking smile which is smoke from the chimeny.

    The rapid groth of economic do not benefit to the most of the people,but benefit the corrupt officials,the gap between rich and poor becom wider and wider,there is no social balance at all.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  60. hachimada

    Total GDP and per capita GDP reflect different things: total GDP reflects the capability of the country to influence the global economy, and the per capita GDP reflects the individual living standard in the country. So China’s total GDP reached No2 means that its economy is too big to be ignored, and everything China is doing will be closely watched by the rest of the world. But per capita GDP of $3200 means that Chinese individual living standard is well behind developed countries. It should be treated as a developing country. As a Chinese, I am well aware that we have a long way to go before we become a “rich” country.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  61. Jim Wilson

    Let's keep two key points in mind. The first is a remark regarding GDP/GNP attributed to Simon Kuznets - author of National Income and Its Composition. In 1934 he told Congress: "[The] welfare of a nation can scarely be inferred from a measure of national income." The second is the frequently forgotten fact that Communist China is a centrally planned economy and not a free market economy.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:49 am |
  62. Lim

    well i'm korean. Nowdays, we can hear news about China very often. Usually That news about China's growth. As Korean, if China keep growing , we cannot excatly say that it's good or not. you know,Soon, Yuan (chinese money) will have value as much dollar have. maybe it might be can have more value than dollars. Korea is between china and Japan. Russia,Japan,China, and maybe America. Strong countries are near korea. If Korea's unification will success, Maybe about in 2050,Korea can be the 2nd largest country in the world. South Korea has many techniques, and North Korea has lots of resources left. oh Well. anyways i'm sure it's excatly time it's time for East asia to become a no1

    January 15, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
  63. Naseer ud din

    I am a Pakistani and i worked abroad many years according to my exposure China has much more potential than US & Japan. Because China got this position just with the production in thier own country when china started businesses in other sourceful countries as like U.S doing, it will cross the world.

    January 16, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  64. tony

    i don't think the rank can show the overlook of the china economy, but part of the factors which contributed to the economy growth. Although china has benifited a lot from the global economy, it also brings a lot of social conflict. The apartment prise here keeps rising, but the government seems to take less control of the estate market. So the problems won't be solve, unless the government has realized that the gdp is not everything.

    January 17, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  65. Poor man of China

    In fact China is poor country but the spirit is so good and strong. Japan and the United

    States, The capitalism has developed hundreds of years, while China is only 30 years, and

    should not be too critical to look at China, after 30 years China will make you more

    satisfaction and bigest. more surprise.

    January 17, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  66. Poor man of China

    Countries get rich, the people can be expected. Like the Chinese saying: When the pot got something, the bowl can be got something.

    January 17, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  67. Mihael

    Even if China overtakes Japan, become the world's no.2 economy, it's nothing to be proud, for the ordinary people in China are still very poor. It's sad that many young people's dream is only to buy their own house (not even that kind of big house). The reason why China can make such progress is people who are working hard, and the gap appears more and more obviously is due to the stupid government and those black heart merchants

    January 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  68. China Observer

    China can learn many many experiences and lessons whorthy of trillions of dollars from USA. It is for China's own interest to be humble while confident.

    January 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  69. yg01

    Its impossible for normal people to afford a house in major chinese cities now
    the gap between the rich and poor is HUGE!
    government officials are renting penthouse in beijing for 1 million RMB(160000 USD)a night while poor farmers are living on less than a dollar a day.

    January 19, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  70. Johnny

    I am a Chinese with 7 years experience abroad

    Talking about GDP of China, it's like a classic scean of dialogue you can always find in a movie:
    'I've one good news and another bad for you, which one you would like to know??'

    Superficially the GDP increase is now utilized by Chinese Government to evade responsibility of all the mess on this land: Low productivity per capital, very low added value in industry, environment problem covered and residents are suffering, extremely poor people living inland and west of China, no justice caused by the very corruption spreading every corner of this system, police acting more like mobs, judge only speak for the ones with rich and power, Education is nothing more than a huge disgrace when creativity are all under political suppression..........the worst among all this- the ones depraved of freedom to express their genuine thought, begin to lose their free spirit and getting used to what happend

    The wise ones will not only see things on surface.
    With regard to GDP, it does not matter indeed how big the number is, what really matters is how efficient this GDP is used to make the country better, when I use the word ' Contry ', I hope it can represent most people who live on this land, not the top 1% ones who receive more than 90% of the benefit of economic growth.

    January 21, 2010 at 2:36 am |
  71. Daluklu

    Totally agreed on what Johnny said. A very precise overview to the heart of the the reality.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:14 am |
  72. allenlwang

    It's natural that everyone observes the matter from his/her own perspective, which can't be blamed but it is pale in front of the panorama. I will try to speak from the overall/average angle instead of being extreme

    1. Beijing's life is NOT expensive as someone described here, even though they claim that they have lived there for years. They only live in their expat's life circle, not ordinary people's life
    2. $3200 comparing to $38000 DGP Per capita, we Chinese should be ashamed of that, no matter what excuses we have. But it doesn't mean we didn’t' work hard enough or not smart enough. Reasons for that? 1. China is less developed than Japan due to historical reasons; 2. China's population is killing us. China's GDP per capita will grow by more developed technology and a much less population in 20 years. So don’t expect to see a gigantic GDP of China by simply multiply Japan’s current GDP per capita by China’s population. That’s not going to happen. China’s GPD will finally rest on less than 700million, which is better for China and better for the world
    3. Some Chinese are scared to death knowing that China will have demographic issue since more people are getting retired (or say dying) than newborns. It is an issue but it is a good thing too. This is the price we pay to have a booming population out of control in the past and the convenience to use this huge population as the source of cheap labor. Everything has its two-sides, pros and cons co-existing. We benefited from the huge population and we will pay for that in the coming 10-15 years. But once China climbs over this mountain (population goes down), we will soon find ourselves in a much better shape.
    4. For the same reasoning as above, I actually worry a lot about India's population booming. They are very happy that they will soon overtake China in population and so they will have a younger and more work force and cheaper labor than anyone else. I think they are digging a hole for themselves and maybe for the whole world. India has almost 1.2 billion people and they have no control on that train. The population can’t grow infinitely. The more population you have, the more difficult it will be for the country when the population starts to go down. It seems India is going to 2 billion people.
    5. Comparing to all the other big GDP nations, China, Brazil and India are indeed booming developing countries. Life is much easier and better in European countries and US, Canada or Australia. Again, I am not referring to rich people or elite class of China, India or Brazil. I am just talking about average situation.
    6. However, the reason that BRIC becomes the hot topic and looks like the hope of the world's future is that investment and bankers look more at the rate on which the economy is growing than the base of the economy. Actually the GPD per capita is also growing much faster in China than in Japan.

    January 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  73. robert

    Mao said long time ago: Our enemy is day day down and we are day day up.

    February 21, 2010 at 3:01 am |
  74. Guest

    No worries. Most of their military is "Made in China."

    March 2, 2010 at 3:23 am |
  75. Forrreeelll

    To Director, Guest and other anti-China folks. Ask yourself these questions? Are you truly free in the US? Would the things that supposedly belong to you be taken away should you stop paying tax? Are your emails private? Is everyone living in the US wealthy? Who do you think controls the media, news, hollywood, etc.? Is China or other developing countries responsible for the economic mess the world is facing? Imagine what the US would be today without the contribution of other countries. How many things do you own that was made by the poor hardworking laborers of China? I recommend that you do more research.

    March 4, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  76. asen

    The development of China need all chinese people's work.We should keep confidence to our country and to our feature

    March 7, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  77. Yonghui

    I from China I belive our government

    March 15, 2010 at 11:28 am |
  78. Yuan

    I am a Chinese and I have live in the US for 4 years. I believe that Chinese government is the best government in the world, the best one that the human beings may have. The most advantage of Chinese government is that it works for all the people, not a special interest group. Second most important point is that Chinese government can always correct its mistakes in the progress to make the country not getting out of the rail.

    I believe that China's prosperity will prove these.

    March 17, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  79. lake chen

    Hi, I just wanna add some thing to the comment above.
    I am from China too, but this doesn't bias my feeling towards our government. To be honest, there are some historical and democratic issues we still have to solve.
    One example is that how ridiculous it is for Google to move their search engine to Hongkong.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm |

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