Will China 2050 be European?

We see massive urbanization driving Chinese development.

Out of the country and into urban service industries. Sounds familiar. So let’s extrapolate.

This paper suggests China’s 2050 population will be roughly the same as it is today.

According to this, overall GDP will increase by between 2 and 2.5x by 2020. By 2050, we’re talking about a 20x increase. China has about 1.4bn people, which will roughly be the same as it was, so the GDP/person will go from something like 1.4b/3t = 4,500 to low teens in 2020 and 90k by 2050?

That means that in 2020 China will be something like Brazil and by 2050 a 1st world country? Sounds like a big jump.

Anyway, I’m thinking more of the rural vs urban divide in China. It’s a densely populated place, even in the rural areas and Ryan Avent taught me that rural and urban differences are deep and deeply political. Urban peoples’ political outlook is hugely shaped by the fact that they live on top of one another and favor more interventionist political systems to deal with all the conflicting interests that result.

The upshot here is that China will have a combination of population density, economic heft and sheer size more similar to today’s Europe than anything else. Will its politics follow suit?

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