What Will China Be Like in 2050 you Ask?

Thursday, February 15, 2007 4:58

Since the second day I arrived in Beijing (I was pretty jet lagged on day one), I have frequently found myself in the middle of the “How long is this ride gonna last?” conversation.

It really is too bad that I did not set up a betting pool at the time because the range of answers is huge. From “it could do up in a puff of smoke at anytime” to 2050 (see What will China Be Like in 2050?).

the most popular answers are (1) Beijing Olympics or (2) Shanghai Expo…

For those who have witnessed so much change, it does get harder to answer that question, and to guess as to what China will look like in 2050 (see article) is just beyond comprehension.

My initial reaction to such plans are that no matter what the central, southern, and northeastern parts of China will have to join the party for there to be long term sustainability… and there are indications that this movement is beginning.

In addition, the Yangtze and yellow rivers will be critical.

Outside of that, I am not sure what 2050 would bring, but one thing is for sure. The folks in Beijing have been working on it

As reported in the article What will China be like in 2050, “An outline of Sustainable Development in china: State Volume”, a 20 volume book series compiled by 184 Chinese experts and scholars over two years and eight month was released Sunday in Beijing.

and with a one page release (the moon view), we are not given much… but what we are given is interesting, grand, and I am sure it will take all 33 years to accomplish only a fraction of the wish list presented:

  • The average life expectancy is to reach 85.
  • The four major coefficients will average at the following points: Engel’s coefficient below 0.15; the Gini coefficient between 0.35 and 0.40; the human development index over 0.900; and the dual structure index around 1.5.
  • The average number of years of education for the whole population will grow from the current 8.2 years to over 14 years.
  • Scientific development will contribute more than 75 percent to the national economy as a whole.
  • Energy and resource consumption per unit of GDP will generate a value between 15 and 20 times higher than that in 2005.
  • Poverty will basically be eliminated nationwide.
  • Zero growth in the degeneration rate of the environment will basically be achieved.

To accomplish these goals, a new policy has been created – the three zeros

  • Zero growth in the natural growth rate of the population by 2030
  • Zero growth in the consumption rate of energy and resources by 2040
  • Zero growth in the degeneration rate of the environment by 2050

the time line you ask?

Shanghai is believed to be the first to realize modernization, in around 2015, followed by Beijing around 2018. Thirteen Chinese provinces and municipalities are expected to realize modernization ahead of schedule, prior to 2050.

By 2050, China as a nation will reach the level of moderately developed countries in an all-round way, and then march forward dynamically towards higher objectives.

Before 2060, 27 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities will have reached their development goals, followed by the remainder of the nation by 2075.

No doubt, if accomplished, this would be the single greatest feat in macroeconomic policy ever seen. the goals of grandeur, the methods are concise, and the timeline is set.

Detract if you must, but remember… Pudong was a fishing village 10 years ago.

If you have thoughts on China in 2050, feel free to post your comments. I am sure there is a range of ideas.�

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2 Responses to “What Will China Be Like in 2050 you Ask?”

  1. Archive » 3 x 0 = 2050| China Business Blog says:

    February 16th, 2007 at 2:34 am

    […] As All Roads Lead to China notes in a post on the same story, Pudong is a more recent example of an unlikely plan that was successfully implemented – and I remember only too well getting my shoes muddy walking around a potential factory site thinking that “this place will never get off the ground”. An early mistake from which I learnt an important lesson! […]

  2. chris says:

    March 14th, 2007 at 4:05 am

    If China succeeds in staying stable, I think all of it is possible, not necessarily by 2050 but adding another 50 years say by 2100 they might come near. It s definately a great power to have such a grand plan, I don’t see the European Union coming forth with a plan for the next 50-100 years, nor do I know of any such plan in the US. Most plans are based on elections and tend to be changed over time due to electoral preferences, hence see our immobility as compared to China’s advances. I do really hope they make it though, even though I doubt the “western powers” will be happy with the demonstration of a single party achieving all of it. It just might turn out to be doublecrossed by the US and the EU for “political” reasons (defeat of democracy?).