China is expected to become the world's largest economy in four years as the balance of economic power is forecast to shift over the next five decades, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has forecast.
Fast-growing emerging economies will account for an ever-increasing share of global output in the next half century, it said, and China's gross domestic product will surpass the eurozone's this year.
The United States is expected to cede its place as the world's largest economy to China as early as 2016, according to the latest OECD report.
However, analyst John Ross, a visiting professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, said it could take a bit longer for China to top the list.
"I think this is a bit exaggerated. It will take five to seven years to happen," he said.
The OECD also said that India's GDP was expected to pass that of the US over the long term. The combined output of China and India would exceed the current Group of Seven economies' GDP by around 2025, and by 2060 it would be more than one and a half times larger, whereas in 2010 China and India accounted for less than half of the G7's output.
The G7 is made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US.
Fast-aging economic heavyweights, such as Japan and the eurozone, will gradually lose ground on the global GDP table to countries with a younger population, such as Indonesia and Brazil, the OECD said.
"The balance of economic power will shift dramatically over the next 50 years in a baseline scenario," Angel Gurria, secretary-general of OECD, said.
"The publishing of the long-term forecast report is a wake-up call as we will face new challenges to ensure a prosperous and sustainable world for all," Gurria said.
The report comes at a time when worries are mounting around the world over the eurozone debt crisis and the American budgetary challenge.
The OECD said that global output would edge up annually by 3 percent in the next half century, mainly driven by productivity improvements and human capital growth, while a great variance between regions and countries was expected.
Now that President Hu Jintao fleshed out the national goal of building up a moderately prosperous society when he addressed the opening ceremony of the 18th CPC National Congress on Nov. 8, China is poised to embrace a splendid future with a brand new vista.
By Yuan Yue, Sina English
On "damage of China-Japan trade"
The China-Japan trade saw a certain level of decline, according to Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming, while the responsibility completely falls within the Japanese scope.
"Industries of different countries are highly interconnected in a globalization era, and this is especially true between China and Japan," Chen says.
"Japan must take full responsibility for the worsening bilateral trade relations."
He also emphasized that in actuality, many Japanese companies and Japanese people hope to see the relations between the two sides warm up.
"I hope the Japanese government could correct its wrongdoings over the Chinese Diaoyu Islands as soon as possible, and bring the Sino-Japanese trade relations back on a normal track," he added.
When asked about the legal protection of Japanese companies in China, the minister responded, "There is no doubt that Japanese companies are under protection in China. Premier Wen has repeatedly expressed China's legal support for all foreign companies registered in China-- that includes the Japanese ones."
Chen also says the Chinese government will protect the personal and property safety of foreign investors according to law, safeguard their normal business operations and properly handle the disruptions and damages they have suffered in China.
Neither China nor U.S can afford to lose trade war
In his answer to China-US business relations and trade frictions, Chen says the economies of China and United States have a high degree of complementarity, and neither side could afford to lose if a trade war were to be initiated.
"I read a report just recently, which says the United States wins most of the trade wars with China. This is not true." Chen reveals that China is now suing the United States on 22 cases, "most of which I feel confident to win."
He also stresses that major frictions is a two-edge sword in a trade pattern that features integrity, "neither of us can afford to lose."
"For example, you would find words like 'designed in California, made in China' on an iPad or iPhone, while most of the materials that China uses for assembling come from Japan and South Korea." The minister notes that under this situation, huge trade frictions would hurt both.
He also condemns the United States as exhibiting a "Cold War mentality" with its fears that Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei poses potential 'Trojan horse' risk.
"It goes way too far," according to the minister, "that the US is suspecting Huawei and ZTE because of their ties to the Communist Party".
"Can you imagine if China started asking U.S. companies coming to China what their relationship has been actually with the Democratic or Republican parties? It would be really a mess," the Commerce Minister says there wouldn't be such accusations if American lawmakers can put themselves in the shoes of Chinese companies.
Potential & benefits
With the country's urbanization rate slightly exceeding 50 percent in 2011 compared with 39.1 percent in 2002, Chinese cities will see a constant influx of rural migrants in the next decade. This will generate demand for infrastructure and public utilities.
China's growing appetite for energy and raw materials is expected to give a kick to the world's sluggish bulk commodity market. Currently, China is the world's biggest consumer of aluminum, cooper, iron ore and cotton.
Ungad Chadda, senior vice-president of Toronto Stock Exchange, a world leader in mining and energy financing, takes China's 2020 blueprint as good news and is fascinated at the buildup of infrastructure under Chinese leaders.
Other market-moving elements relating to China's 2020 goal, Chadda said, include the emerging middle class and Chinese people's growing consumption power.
Morgan Stanley China has projected a golden decade for China's consumption. By 2020, the country's total retail sales will be equivalent to two-thirds of that of the United States and will account up 12 percent of the world's aggregate, it said.
For many Chinese people, the global market is no longer a vague concept.
Ge Haoxin, a delegate to the Party congress from Fuyang city in East China's Anhui province, believes that his seed-breeding business can contribute to the stabilization of the world farm produce market.
Following bumper harvests for eight consecutive years, China has witnessed an unusual spike in grain imports this year, triggering market speculation on its growing dependence on the world market.
From January to September, China's cereal imports (rice, wheat, corn and barley) more than doubled to 11.43 million tonnes, adding the total volume of farm produce imports to $83.6 billion, up 24.5 percent from the same period last year.
The deficit in China's farm produce trade rose to $38.26 billion in the nine months, up 61.9 percent year on year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Restricted by its growing population and limited arable land resources, China must increase agricultural input to meet rising grain crop demand,industrial analysts say.
China is at a disadvantage compared to other major grain producers, such as Australia, America and Brazil, in terms of per capita arable land and water resources, Ge said.
"If the Party honors its commitment to nurture agriculture with industrial proceeds and facilitate innovation on farming technologies, I think we can contribute more to domestic grain supply and the stability of the world farm produce market," said Ge.
Ambition & challenges
The CPC has no intention of checking the country's economic ambitions. It will continue to view economic development as a major job.
At the previous Party congress in 2007, the target of quadrupling the per capita GDP of the year 2000 by 2020 was set. At the ongoing congress, the Party announced that it aims to double the 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents by 2020.
Delegate Zhang Yuyan, chief of the Institute of World Economics and Politics under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the 2020 blueprint shows the Party's down-to-earth spirit and principle of doing its own job well. (Full story)