Doubts are growing about whether China can pass the US to become the world’s biggest economy this century amid warnings that the country’s 30-year miracle is nearing exhaustion.

Doubts are growing about whether China can pass the US to become the world’s biggest economy this century amid warnings that the country’s 30-year miracle is nearing exhaustion.

China may not overtake America this century after all

China’s catch-up spurt has a few more years to run in the Western hinterlands perhaps, but when the full story comes out we may find that nationwide growth has already fallen below 7pc. Photo: Getty

The world’s tallest tower should have been built by now. Officials said last year that the great edifice with 220 floors would be erected in three months flat in China’s inland city of Changsha by March, snatching the crown from Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

The deadline has come and gone, yet the wasteland sits untouched. It now looks as if the fin d’époque project – using prefab blocs – may never be approved. Even China knows its limits.

Prime minister Li Keqiang has asked the State Council to clamp down on the excesses of the regions. Not before time. A top regulator says local government finances are “out of control”.

Mr Li aims to cut China’s economic growth to a safe speed limit of 7pc next year and rein in rampant investment – still a world record 49pc of GDP – before it traps the country in a boom-bust dynamic of frightening scale.

Vested interests are conspiring to stop him, launching a counter-attack from their power-base in the $6 trillion state industries. Even so, uber-growth is surely over. full article

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