Yesterday, the Central Scientific Branch released a report, “Report on the Modernization of China, 2005,” which expressed the belief that China lags 100 years behind the United States and the other six most economically developed countries.
“The modernization of China’s economy will push the country into the top ten industrialized nations in this century.” The Chinese Modernization Research Center’s report revealed the goal of China’s economic modernization: to reach a globally-accepted middle level of economic modernization by 2050 by entering the list of top 40 economies, and in the period of 2050-2100, to complete a comprehensive economic modernization that will push the country’s level of modernization into the world’s top ten.
The absolute distance between China’s economy and the world’s advanced economies continues to expand
“In the last two decades of the previous century, China’s economy enjoyed sustained high growth rates and the world focused its attention on China’s economic accomplishments, but the absolute gap between China’s economy and the globally accepted advanced level continues to increase.” The report points out that even though China’s per capita GNP has a high growth rate, its starting point was so low that absolute growth is extremely small and in fact increasingly lags behind the GNP of advanced countries. The data shows that from 1960 to 2000, the absolute difference between China and the advanced level has increased by 12 times. In 1960, per capita GDP lagged by 2,787 USD, and in 2000 China’s per capita GDP lagged by 33,905 USD.
After performing substantial data analysis and scientific comparisons, the discussion group asserts that China is still an economically under-developed country that lags far behind the world’s advanced economies. In 2002, China’s comprehensive economic modernization ranking was 69th out of 108 countries. In 2002, China was in a middle stage of industrialization, its economic modernization level below the world’s average.
“The task of modernizing China’s economy is extremely arduous.” The discussion group believes that if one uses the per capita GDP and economic structure relative to time, one can conclude that China’s economic modernization level is shockingly low. In 2001, China lagged behind the United States by 100 years, Germany by 80 years, Japan by 50 years, and Portugal by 30 years.
China’s economic modernization is unbalanced on the local level
The report points out that the economic modernization levels among China’s localities are extremely unbalanced. Furthermore, there exists extreme inequity of economic modernization levels within localities.
The report analyzed data from 2002 to conclude that the top ten most modernized localities have traditionally been Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Lianing, Fujian, Shandong, and Heilongjiang. If Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are excluded, 2003’s first ranking of the degree of realized modernization shows that the top ten economically modernized localities are: Zhejiang, Liaoning, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Heilongjiang, Hubei, Chongqing, Jilin, Fujian, and Shandong….