Vice Premier Wu Yi told visiting American Secretary of Treasury Paulson that China would never be an economic threat to the United States. She argued that China has 1.3 billion people and although a few hundred million are entering the middle class, the vast majority of Chinese people live in rural areas where the economic boom has had limited impact.
There is some validity to what Wu Yi argues, but she fails to recognize other factors. Yes, rural areas are lagging behind, but what happens twenty years from now when they catch up? It is already evident that within five years the gross national product of China will surpass that of the United States. I suspect by mid-century China will become more economically powerful than the United States.