China: Ten Predictions for 2021
You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby
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2021, the centennial of Mao’s founding of the Communist Party, was long planned to be a breakout year. When the Party took power in 1949, China was the poorest country on earth, which makes these achievements the more remarkable:
- GDP will expand by 10%. Western experts predict 8% and, since their predictions are always low, we can expect 10% growth, a $2.4 trillion addition to the economy–the fastest growth ever recorded. Bonus Predictions: Wages will rise 12% and the EU will sign the Investment Agreement.
- Most Fortune 500 companies will be Chinese. As a consequence of #1, there will be over 140 Chinese companies–80% of which SOEs–on Fortune’s list and fewer than 120 US corporations.
- China will create five new billionaires each week, after minting four a week in 2020.
- Extreme poverty and homelessness will disappear and there will be more drug addicts, suicides and executions, more homeless, poor, hungry and imprisoned people in America than in China. 99% of the bottom half of Chinese society will own a home and have an income, plenty of food and clothes, safe streets, health insurance, a pension, and old age care and their kids will graduate high school three years ahead of ours.
- China will narrow its Gini gap. Inequality has been Xi’s pet project since 2012 and will be his priority through 2035. The gap is already narrower than Europe’s: Luxembourgeois are 50 times richer than Moldavavans, while Beijingers are only 5-6 times richer than folks in Gansu who, in turn, are richer than Armenians, Ukrainians and Moldovans.
- Average Chinese will outlive Americans. China’s life expectancy was on track to match America’s by 2028, but the US will count 3.2 million deaths in 2020 (a jump of 15%) and life expectancy will fall by three years. Thanks to the Healthy China Program, China may maintain the lead permanently.
- Chinese vaccines will protect 60% of the world and researchers will reveal that the Covid-19 virus was in the US long before it reached China and that India was its original source.
- China will revolutionize urban life. China has constructed the equivalent of San Francisco’s entire housing stock every month since 1950 and Xiong’An New Area, south of Beijing, embodies what they have learned. Most of it will be woods and wetlands, the loudest sound will be birdsong, and it will be fully automated, with utilities and infrastructure underground. Increased productivity will repay its capital cost in 30 years
- China will unveil the first exascale computer. Top supercomputers now solve problems at the petascale—a quadrillion calculations/second. At a quintillion calculations/second, exascale computers will more realistically simulate the processes involved in precision medicine, regional climate, the physics in materials discovery, and the fundamental forces of the universe.
- China will announce another quantum surprise to match its recent boson sampling achievement. China outspends the US 4:1 in R&D and its Taoist worldview better accommodates quantum physics’ ‘both-and’ paradigm than the West’s ‘either-or’ tradition.