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Last October, as he opened the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping vowed that the country would have a "fully modern" economy by 2035, and would reach high-income status by 2049 – the 100th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic.Zhou's plan focused on reforming four key sectors: agriculture, industry, defense and science and technology. He did not set a specific income goal, but it is safe to say that he probably expected China to do better than it did: By World Bank standards, China at the turn of the century was a lower-middle-income country.This time around, reaching China's income goals might actually be the easy part. To join the high-income club, embodied by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, China will have to raise that figure to at least 45 percent (depending on how real income is measured) – a level achieved, so far, by 36-40 economies.China could join these countries' ranks by 2049 if its economy grows by at least 1.7 percentage points more than the U.S. economy every year, starting now. Assuming that the U.S. economy maintains its long-term growth rate of 2 percent, China would have to grow by 3.7 percent annually. Even if China's GDP growth decelerated steadily to 2 percent by 2049, the average rate would amount to at least 4 percent.
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