Is China going to dominate the future global economy?
That depends on what you mean.
China used more cement between 2011 and 2013 than the U.S. used in the entire 20th Century.
China has also produced a lot of steel: it made more than half the world's steel in 2013.
So, in terms of concrete and steel, China was already leading the world economy in 2013.
How about nominal GDP?
The US is a clear leader there.
What's the difference between nominal GDP and PPP GDP?
Why do people pay more for things in the USA instead of staying in China?
Because the USA is generally a nicer place to live. Less pollution, less corruption, etc.
There are 2 basic views behind statements that China will dominate the future:
1) China is growing faster than the USA, and that will continue.
2) People are the same and cultures will converge, so GDP will be proportional to population.
Those are both assumptions without any real backing to them.
Many people said that Japan would continue growing faster than the US until it was more advanced. Instead, it stalled out before catching up, and hasn't caught up economically to the US since then.
Many people said that Africa would grow faster than the US until it was just as rich. But Africa isn't catching up to the USA.
Many people said that China would become more democratic over time. Instead, we're seeing further centralization of power under Xi Jinping, tightened internet censorship, and Hong Kong becoming less free.
In 2009 I said that I expected China would end up with a higher PPP GDP than the USA but a lower nominal GDP. That is now the case.
I also said South Korea would catch up economically to Japan, and it mostly has.
Why would China's growth stall before catching up to the USA's per capita GDP?
1) watch this video
2) read this article
China has recently seen a massive campaign that indicted over 100,000 people for corruption. But that was never a campaign to eliminate corruption; rather, it was meant to eliminate political enemies of Xi Jinping. Note, for example, that those investigations in China lead to decreased investment and less economic growth.
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