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Economy | Time:Apr 3 2018 10:17AM
China can fulfill modernization bids by 2049: Academic
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China is capable of fulfilling its modernization bids by 2049 with sustained efforts to implement reforms and opening up, an expert said.

Speaking at a lecture held at the National School of Development, Peking University, on Friday, Yao Yang, the school's dean, said with foundations paved in the past several years, China will achieve its goal as scheduled, if continued efforts in opening up and reforms are in place.

He referred to the two centennial goals set by the 19th Party Congress — by 2020, China will become a well-off society, and by 2049, the nation will become a high income country on par with those OECD countries.

When looking back at the development paths of wealthy countries, such as the United States and Japan, China already has met some conditions to escape the middle-income trap and has the potential to later become one of the high-income countries, according to Yao.

"High income countries have some similarities in common," said Yao, citing a quote from Leo Tolstoy's book Anna Karenina: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way".

Some similar characteristics shared by the high income countries include high savings rate, thorough industrialization process, exporting manufacturing goods, high human development levels, relatively equal distribution of income and wealth, and a stable political environment.

In the meantime, it is not at all difficult for China to achieve the goals in sole economic terms, because the Chinese economy only needs to grow 1.7 percentage points higher than that of the United States during the 2016 to 2049 period, he said.

Nevertheless, some of challenges, or "grey rhino", as Yao put it, will pose challenges amid China's modernization process, such as the aging population, as baby boomers will pose a big challenge for China's social security and healthcare systems.

A better educated labor force, automation and artificial intelligence will help tackle the challenge, according to Yao.

External international challenges, say, uncertainties brought by the United States, need to be dealt with carefully, he said.

He said he thought the ultimate goal of the trade war sparked by the Trump administration is not only related to the trade issue.

The United States' efforts to protect its key domestic industries and political conflicts upon Taiwan deserve a closer look, as the US has labeled China as a nation pursuing economic aggression designed to weaken America, according to Yao.

"China should continue open its door wider and implement reform," he said, "that is the best way to tackle Trump's protectionism."

He added China should find ways to cooperate with the US because no one wants to see a lose-lose situation.

Source: chinadaily.com.cn

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