China Is No. 1 Eco­nomic Pow­er­house


MANILA (Dis­patches) - “The num­ber one eco­nomic pow­er­house.”

This was how Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte de­scribed China as he stressed the im­por­tance of forg­ing closer ties with the Asian power amid ten­sion over the South China Sea — con­trol of which is at the heart of a mar­itime dis­pute be­tween Bei­jing and Manila.

“We have to be friends. There’s a... the other hot­heads who would like us to con­front China and the rest of the world for so many is­sues. The South China Sea is bet­ter left un­touched,” Duterte said in his speech on Sun­day.

The topic of whether China has al­ready emerged as the world’s most pow­er­ful coun­try has been widely de­bated by for­eign re­la­tions ex­perts for years.

But ac­cord­ing to World Bank data, the U.S., which ac­counted for over 24 per­cent of the world’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct in 2016, has been the world’s big­gest econ­omy.

The U.S. is also among the “ad­vanced” economies listed by the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund. Mean­while, IMF clas­si­fied China as among the “emerg­ing and de­vel­op­ing” coun­tries in Asia.

The main cri­te­ria used by the IMF to clas­sify na­tions into ad­vanced economies and emerg­ing market and de­vel­op­ing economies are per capita in­come level, ex­port di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, and de­gree of in­te­gra­tion into the global fi­nan­cial sys­tem.

But re­cently, both the IMF and World Bank qual­i­fied that China has over­taken the U.S. in terms of GDP based on pur­chas­ing power par­ity, which is one mea­sure of to­tal eco­nomic strength, the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum re­ported.

PPP ad­justs coun­tries’ GDPs for dif­fer­ences in prices.

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