China and the US have vied for economic superiority but the pandemic has “tipped the rivalry in China’s favour”.
China is set to overtake the US to become the world’s biggest economy five years earlier than previously thought, thanks in part to its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a think tank.
The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) says China will become the world’s major economic force in 2028.
In an annual report, the CEBR said: “For some time, an overarching theme of global economics has been the economic and soft power struggle between the United States and China.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding economic fallout have certainly tipped this rivalry in China’s favour.”
The think tank described China’s management of the pandemic as “skilful”, citing its strict early lockdown.Advertisement
The coronavirus began in China late in 2019 and the country was the first to shut down and the first to reopen after the virus was declared under control in March.
During the first quarter of this year, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) slumped in its worst performance for decades.
But in July, the country reported second-quarter growth of 3.2% compared to the same time last year.
The CEBR says China is expected to average economic growth of 5.7% a year from 2021 to 2025 before slowing to 4.5% a year from 2026 to 2030.