China to Surpass the US by 2049?

China is not just competing with the United States, but has also done research on the time it will take to surpass them. According to China's Xinhua news agency, a report released on January 8, 2013, by the Chinese Academy of Sciences says that China is likely to surpass the United States in all areas by 2049, and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will be realized. The research comes with a detailed schedule of the potential process.

If Mao were still alive, he would definitely think the process is taking too long. As he mentioned in 1957, he predicted it would take 15 years to catch up with or surpass the UK.

Yang Duogyui, head of the research group, explained [zh] the statement:


When we say “the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”, I personally think “rejuvenation” means to be unquestionably number 1 in the world. As to whether it will be realized, there are many uncertain elements in the future. Our report is based on the current conditions of “national health”, which is a new concept; it’s normal for people to have doubts about it.

A screenshot of the report "China to Surpass the US by 2049" from Youku

A screenshot of the report “China to Surpass the US by 2049″ from Youku

He added that the group will continue with the research. Despite his explanation, the statement has been made fun of on Sina Weibo, with netizens urging the real problems in China to be faced. Even Xinhua News Agency wrote on Weibo [zh]:


[The report] forces people to look at the reality… Solve the social problems before talking about “surpassing” and “rejuvenation”.

Veteran journalist Huang Yigang echoed [zh]:


China’s dream of “surpassing the UK and the US” has brought lots of disasters for Chinese people; today, some people still indulge in this excuse to coax people. The goal is to cover social problems and political incompetence.

A student, Yue, also said [zh]:


This is the most meaningless research by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Surpassing the US itself is meaningless. Do they dare carry out a comparative research on house prices, the price of goods, the environment, medical care and pensions between the US and China?! Solving these problems is the ultimate goal for China’s development.

News commentator fen wrote [zh]:


Fifty years ago, we said we would surpass the UK and the US within 15 years, now we say we will surpass the US in 30 years. Time has moved on, but the weak country’s mentality is the same.

Online activist Qishi Songzang wrote[zh]:


Without democracy and freedom, no matter how strong the country is, it would just be a gold-plated rotten wall. We would keep living like we were prior to 1911.

Netizen schumanzou commented [zh] sarcastically:


Officials’ social welfare and the deterioration of the environment has surpassed the US, what else do you need to surpass?

Another netizen Zhou Yantao expressed [zh] anxiety over China’s future:


What will be left in China in another 20 years? 5% of the Chinese have mastered 95% of China’s wealth, and that 5% have emigrated or are in the process of emigration, which means that, 20 years from now, 95% of China's wealth will no longer belong to the Chinese. What will be left? Millions of old people, polluted mountains and rivers, and a land with no underground resources. Common people know best!

Famous writer Zhan Hao, with over 200,000 followers on Weibo, analyzed [zh]:


After reading some comments on the news, you will find how inferior Chinese people feel, and when China becomes stronger in a real sense, this inferiority will turn into arrogance, which is always a negative energy.

This post was proofread in English by Georgi McCarthy.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.