• A panel of Chinese and American scholars discuss the China’s economy in a long-term perspective. China aims be labelled a ‘rich’ country by 2049 and reach 45% of US GDP per capita (currently 27%). GDP growth is predicted to drop to 3% by then.
• China’s population is ageing rapidly and by 2049, a quarter of the population will be over 65. This ageing working force is compounded by a falling birth rate. The government plans to raise the retirement age and improve education and training of the elderly people to keep them productive.
• Rising household consumption and rapid urbanisation is contributing to rising pollution and pressure on China to de-carbonise. The Belt and Road Initiative makes this worse with a number of coal-emission plants planned.
• Financial openness is discussed with Nomura and J.P. Morgan recently granted securities licenses, as well as PayPal and AMEX.
• Finally, they believe that the renminbi has potential to become a major payments and reserve currency. But China needs much stronger transparency and rule of law.
Why does this matter? China’s ambitious plans to become a developed global superpower and catch-up with the US should not be dismissed, even if exact targets are missed. The economy is increasing richer and a slowdown in growth is a natural consequence. But the government is facing increasing scrutiny over governance. A lengthy investigation into all those issues is summarised into a new book with the title of the podcast.
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