Chinese GDP Growth over the Xi Jinping Era

Over this period, growth has generally surprised on the downside.

Here is GDP expressed in constant 2015CNY, along with IMF World Economic Outlook October forecasts.

Figure 1: Chinese GDP from October 2022 WEO (black), October 2022 forecast (gray-blue), October 2021 forecast (red), October 2019 forecast (sky blue), October 2014 forecast (pink), Goldman Sachs 22 December 2022 forecast (orange), all in bn 2015CNY, on log scale. Source: IMF World Economic Outlook databases (October, various issues), Goldman Sachs 12/22/2022.

For a different perspective, I show actual GDP growth (in log differences) since 1991 (as reported, in black), and forecasts from the corresponding World Economic Outlook forecasts.

Figure 2: Year-on-year Growth of Chinese GDP from October 2022 WEO (black), October 2022 forecast (gray-blue), October 2021 forecast (red), October 2019 forecast (sky blue), October 2014 forecast (pink), Goldman Sachs 22 December 2022 forecast (orange), all in bn 2015CNY, on log scale. Source: IMF World Economic Outlook databases (October, various issues), Goldman Sachs 12/22/2022.

The World Bank has just marked down 2022 y/y growth to 2.7%, Goldman Sachs down to 2.6%, while the IMF WEO forecast 3.2% in November.

If you don’t think 3.2% vs. 10% in 2010 (or the 5.5% target) isn’t “hitting a wall”, I don’t know what is.

In my view, this is not a good thing. A prosperous global economy needs a growing Chinese economy — so no schadenfreude here (although more appropriate would be to write 没有 幸灾乐祸 ).

84 thoughts on “Chinese GDP Growth over the Xi Jinping Era

  1. pgl

    “A prosperous global economy needs a growing Chinese economy”. Absolutely.

    One query coming from someone who still thinks Solow’s seminal growth model has some relevance. China 30 plus years ago had a lower capital/labor ratio than it does now (yes high savings in the long-run does lead to more investment) and was sort of cut off from Western technology. So initially as it high savings and being allowed to be in on the game with respect to world trade – one would expect really high growth rates. But over time does not the convergence hypothesis suggest that these high growth rates would moderate somewhat?

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      pgl: Sure, in the standard growth models of the 60’s-70’s. But endogenous growth models predict something else. The fact that we don’t seem to have convergence to a single level of per capita income suggests there are several convergence clubs.

      1. Moses Herzog

        One of the issues that makes this complicated, is that China doesn’t have accurate growth numbers (GDP, pick your barometer). So if you’re playing guessing games on growth numbers or how far the numbers are off it makes it harder to tell. Then you also have to decide how much of donald trump’s trade war is shoved in Xi’s lap, and also how much of the respiratory illness pandemic was self-caused by bad public health policy (how much could have been prevented by China’s government). I DO think the economic growth numbers are lower than say if Hu Jintao (picking an “average” leader going by mainland Chinese perceptions) was at his peak mental powers and still running the country. i.e. I don’t think convergence has much to do with the growth slow down if we are only looking at Xi Jinping’s “watch”. Yes, some, but a very very small amount can be “rationalized away” by convergence.

        I cannot remember if Menzie had said this was his preferred or if he had mentioned some others, I was thinking he had mentioned a different one with a webpage or something. But it’s been too long for me to remember.

      2. Moses Herzog

        BTW, Menzie, what if I enjoy gloating, even if it’s in spite of myself??? Don’t be taking away my joys in life dude.

      3. Macroduck

        Not converging to a single level is consistent with the notion of local maxima. A country with a mix of resources and polices which arrive at a disappointing local maximum will find moving to a more efficient and happier maximum difficult. Topography is a harsh mistress.

  2. pgl

    German for “happiness at the misfortune of others”

    Well when our host pulls out such fancy language, I tend to consult Urban Dictionary which provided these classic examples!

    Clapping when a waitress falls and drops a tray of glasses

    Watching figure skaters falling on their asses

    Watching people out in the rain

    Watching a vegetarian being told she just ate chicken

    Watching a frat boy realize just what he put his dick in

    Being on an elevator when somebody shouts “Hold the door!”

    Straight A students getting Bs

    Exes getting STDs

    Waking doormen from their naps

    Watching tourists reading maps

    Football players getting tackled

    CEOs getting shackled

  3. pgl

    That growth is lower since Xi took office begs the question – what policy mistakes if any did he make? After all – I just suggested growth would slow normally according to a Solow model. Of course China is not the perfect competition world the Solow model assumed. I do remember this 2013 discussion speculating on how Xi would change the Chinese economy:

    Two big picture questions: (1) did Xi pull off these alleged reforms; and (2) is there a reliable analysis of how what Xi’s policies were impacted the Chinese economy?

  4. Wencent

    Your logic here is problematic. When you look into the economy, you must take its size of it into consideration. But obviously you only showed the growth data.
    During Xi’s presidency, the Chinese economy grew into a non-ignorable second place, surpassing the size of entire EU countries (in terms of GDP, although many scholars believe China’s GDP was underestimated because of its statistical methodolody).
    Ten years ago right before Xi, the Chinese economy size was only 1.6 times that of Japan (still a third place in the world), now it is a whopping 3.6 times.
    The problem and probably the only one of the Chinese economy is that we still lack technology supremacy.
    If China keeps having the largest population of STEM students and improving its education quality, all the short-term turbulence would be just noise.

    1. Macroduck

      What a complacent, self-satisfied view. Almost as if critical thinking were anathema to you.

      Mere size of output is nothing to brag about when output per person is small. What is the point of economic activity if not to provide for the welfare of individuals?

      Sometime ago, ltr posted a couple of links to charts showing manipulations of output per capita, without bothering to link to the underlying series. She was comparing China to Japan, while trying to avoid showing that Japan far surpasses Chinain output per capita. Wencent is making the same error in suggesting that mere size is all. Mere size of output is only part of material welfare. Output per capita and income distribution also matter. Here is a look at output per capita for China, the U.S. and South Korea:

      China is clearly not in the same league as the U.S. South Korea shows what is possible, climbing from China-like poverty in the 1960s to roughly three times China’s output per capita now, and over half of the U.S. level per capita. Looking at distribution, Chinz is lessegalitarian than South Korea, better than the U.S.:

      It is worth that China’s income (in) equality is more variable than in many countries, and was recently less equal than, for instance, the U.S.:

      So, Wencent, while the amount of output matters, you have overstated it importance.

      1. Macroduck

        Ah, I see ltr is again playing tricks with data. In a comment below, she has again avoided any mention of basic income per capita levels, instead manipulating the data through indexing. Lying with statistics. The simple factis tha Chinaese income per capita is quite weak when compared with the U.S., Taiwan, the EU, Mexico, Ukraine. China’s income per capita is even weak relative to the sick man of Europe, Russia.

        In the context of Menzie post, point to take away is that China’s slowdown makes it less likely that China will ever provide the same level of material welfare to its people as does the U.S., Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, or any number of developed or even middle-income countries. ltr’s presents of the data obscures that fact, intentionally, it would seem.

    2. pgl

      “Ten years ago right before Xi, the Chinese economy size was only 1.6 times that of Japan (still a third place in the world), now it is a whopping 3.6 times.”

      I would argue that once should also consider income per capita. But that metric – Japan is doing better than China but the gap indeed is closing rather fast.

  5. ltr,924,132,134,532,534,536,158,546,922,112,111,&s=PPPGDP,&sy=2007&ey=2022&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=.&br=1

    October 15, 2022

    Gross Domestic Product based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) valuation for China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macao, Russia and United States, 2007-2021


    China ( 27,743)
    United States ( 22,996)
    India ( 10,194)
    Japan ( 5,607)
    Germany ( 4,888)

    Russia ( 4,494)
    Indonesia ( 3,566)
    Brazil ( 3,436)
    United Kingdom ( 3,403)
    France ( 3,359)

    1. pgl

      I have argued as has Macroduck that these figures should be done in per capita terms. Macroduck is accusing you of lying with statistics. He has a point – pay attention.

  6. JohnH

    It’s interesting how this discussion evolved.

    The first point was that Krugman asserted that “the Chinese economy seems set to face major problems over the next two or three years.”

    I commented that “Krugman has been forecasting doomsday scenarios for China for years.” I linked to a Krugman doomsday scenario for China from 2013: “China is in big trouble. We’re not talking about some minor setback along the way, but something more fundamental. The country’s whole way of doing business, the economic system that has driven three decades of incredible growth, has reached its limits. You could say that the Chinese model is about to hit its Great Wall, and the only question now is just how bad the crash will be.”

    The response was that “reasonable people can still see the internal contradictions of the Chinese model.”

    My response was that since Krugman made his 2013 doomsday prediction, the Chinese economy has grown 64%, 6.4% per year in real terms in the eight years since Krugman’s forecast.

    Now, disregarding Krugman’s sketchy China forecasting record, the response seems intended to support Krugman’s steadfast opinion that China is about to suffer a major macroeconomic shock. Without doubt 2022 economic performance has not been good, what with all the COVID shut downs. Goldman’s forecast growth is 3.2%, hardly a macroeconomic shock, except perhaps for a star performer like China. US growth reaches that rate only in the best of times, but China still manages to achieve it in the worst of times.

    Furthermore, 2023 growth forecasts by the WEO and by Goldman are both in the 4-5% range, not too shabby by world standards. And for China, which has averaged 6.4% real growth annually since Krugman’s doomsday prediction, it’s hardly a forecast to cheer. But “hitting a wall?” In case folks don’t know what that means, Webster gives the following answer:
    1: to reach the point of physical exhaustion during strenuous activity
    2: to reach a limiting point or situation at which progress or success ceases

    In what universe can economic growth of 4-5% be considered tantamount to reaching the point of exhaustion? It’s beyond most of the West’s wildest dreams.

    All of which begs the original question of why Krugman has been so intent on painting such a dark picture of China’s prospects for most of the last decade? Honest analysis or wishful thinking?

      1. pgl

        Jonny boy is still trying to tell us that the Russian economy fared well in spite of Krugman’s 2014 that it might not. More on the period right after Krugman’s oped:

        In 2014, prices for most commodities dropped, but oil and energy prices plummeted, driven not only by reduced global demand, but also by increased production by countries like the United States and increased investment in renewable energy. The conflict with Ukraine worsened the situation for Russia. In the short term, investors priced the possibility of a full-scale war into projects in Russia and . Longer term, sanctions have affected investments as well as access to capital by Russian businesses, which has hindered investment, and as a consequence, growth…One major issue brought about by the financial crisis was the devaluation of the ruble. The Russian ruble had operated with a currency band since 1997. This was instituted as part of agreements with international organizations like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, who provided the massive international loans Russia needed as its economy imploded. As part of the agreements, Russia agreed to use the money lent to it, in part, to support its currency. Russia earned rubles but would have to repay in currencies like the US dollar or euro, so a stable exchange rate gave the lenders more assurance that Russia would be able to repay the loans it was given.

        The Russian state maintained the band even after it had paid back its loans as Russian corporations also had international loans, and their ability to repay was contingent on a steady exchange rate. Over time, the difference between the real value of the ruble and the official value rose to nearly 100%, with the official rate at around 30 rubles to the dollar. Speculators did not move en masse on this information as Russia automatically bought or sold large amounts of currency with its oil wealth to keep the ruble in the band.
        As economic pressures built in 2014, however, it became increasingly expensive to maintain the ruble’s worth and speculators increasingly applied more pressure, assuming that Russia would soon not be able to keep up. Indeed, voices with the government that had long argued against maintaining the band eventually won out and Russia allowed the ruble to “float” to its real market value. Events came to a head on December 16, 2014, known as “Black Tuesday,” as the ruble suddenly plummeted. Sanctions and the falling price of oil, in combination with high demand for foreign currencies ahead of a large repayment of foreign-held debt, all contributed to the ruble’s sudden loss in value. The currency hit nearly 100 rubles to the dollar in the day’s trading.

        This account of what happened is very much in line with what Krugman said might happen. I should note the graph that has the legend ‘Sudden contraction and partial rebound in the Russian economy (Data from the World Bank).’

        Jonny boy finds a FRED graph using US$ to argue the 2015 contraction was only 2% but the World Bank data shows a deeper contraction. Yes – there was this partial rebound when oil prices recovered, which is what I said all along. But I guess I’m guilty of using what Jonny boy called “sketchy sources” as my first account relied on IMF data and this relies on World Bank data. Then again Jonny boy does not get the difference between using ruble data v. US$ data and he does not even know how to read the legends in those FRED graphs.

        1. JohnH

          As usual, pgl misrepresents what I said. I acknowledged that Russia’s GDP declined 2% in 2015…not great. But that decline was far less than the “severe damage” that Krugman predicted. It seems that Krugman revels in titillating the schadenfreude of neocons and liberal interventionists, who wish the worst for countries they don’t.

          1. Macroduck

            “Misreprestent”? Hypocritical much? Half of what you write is based on pretending to know what other people think – nothin but a cheap rhetorical trick. Sometimes, you pretend to know what Individuals think, sometimes large groups. Pure dishonesty.

          2. pgl

            Excuse me lying troll but where did Krugman claim Russian GDP would fall by 20%? Whether the decline was 2% per your stupid use based on US$ or 3% per the Worldbank (which I guess you would call a sketchy source), that is a pretty steep decline. Now the devaluation of the rouble was rather substantial so Krugman got that right too.

            You? You get nothing right on just about everything.

            “titillating the schadenfreude of neocons and liberal interventionists”. Dr, Chinn has called you out on every word on this pathetic smear. But do keep up the dishonest smears as that is all you got.

    1. ltr

      Perfect comment from John:

      “Krugman has been forecasting doomsday scenarios for China for years.” I linked to a Krugman doomsday scenario for China from 2013: “China is in big trouble. We’re not talking about some minor setback along the way, but something more fundamental. The country’s whole way of doing business, the economic system that has driven three decades of incredible growth, has reached its limits. You could say that the Chinese model is about to hit its Great Wall, and the only question now is just how bad the crash will be.”

      The response was that “reasonable people can still see the internal contradictions of the Chinese model.

      [ Thank you so very much, John. ]

    2. Macroduck

      “…seems intent to support Krugman’s…”

      Seems intent? Johnny frequently pretends to be a mind-reader, and he’s at it again. What Menzie (or anyone else) writes must not be taken at face value in Johnny World. Johnny pretends to know that something else is going on.

      And what is the Oh-so-important thing that’s going on? Krugman! It’s all about Krugman. Remember, if Johnny can’t find something in the popular press, economists don’t know about it. Johnny said so. And Krugman is Johnny’s popular press barometer for what all economists think.

      China is the second largest economy in the world, and deeply entangle in world trade. Menzie pointed out that financial suppression and heavy reliance on the real estate sector are risks to China’s economic future. Johnny’s response? This is about Krugman. ‘Cause Krugman drives global growth in Johnny World? More than that, it’s about Johnny, because Johnny mentioned Krugman so Krugman must be the issue.

      No, Johnny, this is not about you and it’s not about Krugman. It’s about China. China is slowing. China has structural problems. That may be too deep for you to fathom (though it has been in the press), but some of us would like to discuss the real economics of China’s situation.

      1. pgl

        Jonny boy also loves to tell us Krugman does not care about inequality. Of course his most recent position is all about income distribution. Jonny boy tells us Krugman never writes about this subject but then we provide all sorts of Krugman writings. But then Jonny boy tells us that unless the publication was at the New York Times this week, it cannot count.

        Jonny boy has been pulling this dishonest trash for many years starting at EconomistView and now here. Jonny boy is as pathetic as it gets. I have to wonder – did Krugman steal Jonny boy’s girl friend back in the day? Oh well Robin Wells made the right choice after all.

    3. pgl

      Gee the last thing we needed is for you to recount your babbling. You are getting more boring than Princeton Steve by the day.

    4. pgl

      “disregarding Krugman’s sketchy China forecasting record”.

      His 2014 oped on Russia was sort of spot on. Of course Putin’s pet poodle tried to suggest otherwise. Yea – you got that one wrong too.

    5. ltr

      July 18, 2013

      Hitting China’s Wall
      By Paul Krugman

      July 19, 2013

      China’s Ponzi Bicycle Is Running Into a Brick Wall
      By Paul Krugman

      December 1, 2015

      China’s Market Crash Means Chinese Supergrowth Could Have Only 5 More Years to Run

      Now that 90 days have passed, from the Huffington Post from Last August: *

      Ever since I became an adult in 1980, I have been a stopped clock with respect to the Chinese economy. I have said–always–that Chinese supergrowth has at most ten more years to run, and more probably five or less. There will then, I have said, come a crash–in asset values and expectations if not in production and employment. After the crash, China will revert to the standard pattern of an emerging market economy without successful institutions that duplicate or somehow mimic those of the North Atlantic: its productivity rate will be little more than the 2%/year of emerging markets as a whole, catch-up and convergence to the North Atlantic growth-path norm will be slow if at all, and political risks that cause war, revolution, or merely economic stagnation rather than unexpected but very welcome booms will become the most likely sources of surprises.


      — Brad DeLong

    6. pgl

      Jonny boy is all upset that Krugman is not telling us how Germany’s economy is faring poorly. WELL – maybe Krugman is not willing to make garbage up the way Jonny boy usually does:
      Real Gross Domestic Product for Germany

      German real GDP did fall during the Great Recession as did real GDP for most nations. Funny thing the German economy rebounded faster than the Cameron led UK economy (poor little Jonny’s lies for his former boss Cameron keep falling short). Germany did take a hit during the pandemic. But it has recovered from that too.

      So when Jonny boy tells us that the German economy is doing poorly – he is doing what Jonny boy usually does. He is LYING.

  7. ltr

    Among the accomplishments of the Xi Jinping government, I suggest beginning with the ending of severe poverty for the 1.4 billion Chinese.

    Among the Chinese economic accomplishments this last year have been limiting inflation, assuring food independence, assuring energy independence, significantly increasing foreign direct investment, significantly increasing foreign trade, completing an advanced global positioning system, completing a manned space station, exploring the Moon, Mars and the Sun, building a 5G system, building a national water redistribution and conservation system, completing a massive hydro power system (completely with domestic machinery – with domestic equipment on project after project repeatedly replacing imported equipment that might be subject to sanctions), leading the world in solar and wind efficiency and installation, satellite mass production, commercial airliner mass production, high-speed rail line extension, production of millions of electric vehicles…

    …mastering the machinery needed for and production of advanced semiconductors!

    The point being that China’s growth obligation is above all to China and I have difficulty understanding how China could have accomplished more this past year or 5 years or 10 years. The Chinese people are thriving and in addition China is extending domestic accomplishments to partner nations in a thoroughly hopeful way….

    1. ltr

      We might consider that Chinese development is being accomplished even with a growing effort by the United States to limit or stop Chinese development. Notice how the Chinese built a space station and comprehensive space program after being banned by Congress in May 2011 from work with NASA and the “International” Space Station program. US hostility to a thoroughly benign China and to Chinese development is shockingly relentless now, nonetheless China is developing splendidly. China has made sure through this challenging period to increase its growth potential. The investment is all there, technology gains have been ample, China is remarkably self-sufficient, and there is every reason to expect fine growth this coming year.

      1. Menzie Chinn Post author

        ltr: A “thoroughly benign China”? From BBC:

        China has staged one of its biggest incursions in the seas and skies around Taiwan, the island’s government says.

        It said that 71 Chinese air force planes, including fighter jets and drones, had entered Taiwan’s so-called air defence identification zone.

        The US said China’s military activity was “destabilising” and undermined “regional peace and stability”.

        Taiwan is self-ruled – but China sees it as a breakaway province with which it will eventually reunite.

        1. Anonymous

          been contemplating the “ukrainiztion” of Taiwan…..

          in that world prc can in no way be “benign”

      2. ltr

        “A thoroughly benign China” is absolutely and surely a correct characterization. A thoroughly and wonderfully benign China is a proper characterization.

        “A thoroughly benign China”; I am so pleased to have written such words.

      3. ltr

        December 26, 2022

        China strives to improve people’s well-being, raise quality of life

        BEIJING — Despite the frigid weather in northwest China, Deng Fabin, a 53-year-old farmer in a village of Wuwei City, Gansu Province, was warm both physically and emotionally.

        Largely funded by the government, Deng, along with 1,790 local people, moved into a two-story new house in September from a wooden cottage built at the foot of a mountain cliff more than 20 years ago.

        This came as part of the local government’s efforts to relocate residents from areas prone to ecological and geological hazards to safety.

        It is the epitome of how life has transformed for 1.4 billion Chinese people over the past year.


        Housing conditions have improved not just in rural areas.

        With a clean and tidy environment and well-equipped amenities, an old residential community in the Xixiu District of Anshun City, southwest China’s Guizhou Province, has taken on a fresh new look after renovation.

        “Many neighbors who relocated earlier have moved back,” said Chen Kai, a 50-year-old resident.

        Renovating old residential communities in urban areas is an important way to improve people’s well-being. China pushed forward an across-the-board renovation of its urban residential areas in 2020.

        It planned to rebuild 51,000 old urban residential communities in 2022, benefiting 8.4 million households across the country. By October, renovation work had started at 52,100 such communities.


        “My son has his life saved now.”

        This was the reaction of Yu Haiying, a resident in Changchun, northeast China’s Jilin Province, when he was told that starting from Jan. 1, 2022, the medical bill for treating spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) during the first year of diagnosis would decline from 1.4 million yuan (around 200 thousand U.S. dollars) to less than 80,000 yuan in China.

        His three-year-old son was diagnosed with SMA in 2019. At that time, a single jab of Nusinersen, a medicine used to treat the rare neuromuscular disorder, cost 700,000 yuan in China, which was totally out of reach for the family.

        Thanks to a state bulk procurement program, the price has been lowered to 33,000 yuan a shot to help the medicine enter China’s medical insurance catalog, which could be further cut to 12,000 yuan for the patients after reimbursement.

        China announced in January to carry out a centralized bulk-buying of drugs and high-value medical consumables on a regular and institutionalized basis, as such programs had saved 260 billion yuan in medical insurance costs and patients’ expenditures by the end of 2021.

        In a bulk-buying program in September, the prices of orthopedic spine consumables that won the government’s contract bids were 84 percent lower than usual on average. It is estimated to save Chinese people 26 billion yuan in medical costs annually.


          1. Barkley Rosser


            Do the large number of political prisoners in PRC find the country to be “a throughly and wonderfully benign country”?

      4. JohnH

        While I wouldn’t exactly characterize China as “thoroughly benign,” I might go so far as to say that China’s track record shows that it is relatively quite benign. The last time it engaged its troops in a significant foreign intervention was during the Korean War, seventy years ago.

        By contrast, the US record of foreign interventions is very, very long.

        A Pew survey from 2018 found that “At the bottom of the threats list is China’s power and influence, although roughly half or more in
        South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Australia and the U.S. name China as a major threat.”

        By contrast 45% of the respondents found US power and influence to be major threat, particularly during the Trump years. Ironically, Trump was the first President in decades to not engage in a significant foreign intervention, a stance that did not endear him to the neocons and liberal interventionists who dominate foreign policy under most administrations.

        1. pgl

          “The last time it engaged its troops in a significant foreign intervention was during the Korean War, seventy years ago.”

          People back then saw this intervention is almost akin to WWIII. So yea – it was sort of significant. Officially the Korean War never ended. And now we are having a Drone War between the two Koreas. Of course the people of Taiwan might beg to differ with you and ltr on how benign the Xi regime is.

          But hey – Xi has not objected to Putin’s war crimes so Putin’s pet poodle JohnH loves Xi!

          1. pgl

            December 27, 2022 at 10:11 am

            Jonny boy has a new BFF. Oh wait – this worthless troll is a Russan bot.

        2. JohnH

          It should be noted that China has a single foreign military base…in Djibouti. The US has about 750 bases in 80 countries and innumerable GWOT operations that are estimated to have killed almost a million people.

          But it’s China that’s the major threat to world peace? LOL! Get real!

          1. pgl

            “It should be noted that China has a single foreign military base…in Djibouti”

            Needs editing.

            It should be noted that China has a single foreign military basis in Djibouti alone.

            Come on Jonny – your lies are so easy to rebut. I guess this is why Xi refuses to give you bones. Do remain Putin’s pet poodle.

          2. pgl

            “Researchers from the U.S.-based think tank assessed 108 countries as desirable and feasible sites for future Chinese bases and published their findings in a report: China’s Global Basing Ambitions. ”

            But they will have only a single site in each of those 108 nations so no worries. Damn Jonny – your lies are beginning to bite your in the rear end.

        3. baffling

          “The last time it engaged its troops in a significant foreign intervention was during the Korean War, seventy years ago.”
          the Chinese were heavily involved in the Vietnam war. your statement is false. again.

          1. pgl

            China was involved but their intervention was giving military aid to North Vietnam. Of course no US troops are in Ukraine or otherwise fighting Russian troops so your analogy is spot on.

            BTW – Jonny boy is a lot like a lawyer. How do you know he is lying? His lips are moving.

          2. baffling

            china had over 100,000 troops in Vietnam up until about 1968. contributing to the battle does not require that you actually be on the battlefield. they were on Vietnamese soil and actively participating. this would constitute using its troops to engage in a significant foreign intervention under any definition, except for the revisionist history of John and others of his ilk on this page.

    2. Macroduck

      “Among the accomplishments of the Xi Jinping government, I suggest beginning with the ending of severe poverty for the 1.4 billion Chinese.”

      Wow! Deng Ziaoping? Jiang Zemin? Hu Jintao? They did nothing to reduce poverty in China?

      I guess the new “truth” is that Xi did the whole job of raising China out of poverty. Never mind that growth has been slower under Xi than under any of his recent predecessors. How much Koolaid did you drink?

      1. JohnH

        At least Xi finished the job of ending severe poverty…unlike every President since LBJ, who initiated the War on Poverty.

        Oh, silly me! There is no poverty in the US anymore…at least you wouldn’t know about it because politicians and media outlets choose to not mention it, because it might make their rich and powerful patrons uncomfortable. Poverty in the US is like the proverbial tree falling in the forest…if no one heard it fall, it must not have happened. Out of sight, out of mind.

        And, as we all know, it’s much more important to protect 40 million Ukrainians from Russia than to protect 40 million Americans from living in poverty. Obviously US government gives top priority to human rights…except if the afflicted happen happen to be our own fellow citizens!

        1. pgl

          So you think there is no more poverty in China? Seriously?

          LBJ’s programs to reduce US poverty were working but then we got St. Reagan, Bush43, and your boy Trump which did their best to undermine anti-poverty efforts. In the case of your boy Trump – his minions celebrate poverty among blacks and Hispanics. Sort of like you celebrate the genocide your boy Putin is inflicting on Ukraine.

        2. pgl

          “politicians and media outlets choose to not mention it” That is one of your patented LIES.

          “it’s much more important to protect 40 million Ukrainians from Russia than to protect 40 million Americans from living in poverty.”

          At least Americans do not face a Russian army out to kill all Ukrainians. Oh wait- that’s right. Putin’s war crimes excite little Jonny boy.

        3. pgl

          Gee – the official measure of poverty allows China to assert that they got the poverty rate below 16%. But wait –

          “the percentage of the population living on less than $5.50 a day at 2011 international prices.”

          In the US, we put the level of income where one is above poverty considerably higher. But Jonny boy thinks China is doing better than we are? YEA – Jonny boy is the most clueless clown God ever invented.

        4. pgl

          Severe poverty is defined as earning less than $1.90 a day. You actually think this is some big accomplishment. Oh that’s right – Putin pays you $1.90 a day for your praise of him. And he is actually paying you much more than you are worth.

        5. Macroduck

          Johnny is, once again, simply wrong. He is so extensively wrong that he either he is being intentionally dishonest or is so completely ignorant of the subjectmatter as to have no right to an opinion.

          China’s poverty problem is not “ended” and is, infact, worse than in the U.S. by any rational definition. The poverty rate in the U.S. is lower than the rate in China, and the poverty line in the U.S. is much higher than in China.

          The definition of povery in China is any income above $5.50 per day in 2011 dollars. As of 2019, China’s poverty rate was 15.8%:

          The poverty rate in the U.S. was 11.5% as of 2021, with poverty defined at a much higher income, $13,590 for a single person, which comes to $37.23 per day:

          Johnny didn’t provide the data, but rather just made assertions about the data that were wrong. He also wrote a dishonestly ahistoric tale about poverty policy. The U.S. began providing various kinds of public support on a national basis under Roosevelt, not Johnson. That effort began when per capita income in developed countries was generally lower than in China today. The “War on Poverty” was a further step. China’s system of public support remains weak compared to the U.S. and to most developed economies. China’s distribution of income is highly variable over time, so comparisons are not very enlightening, but China is not a paragon of virtue when it comes to distribution – making China’s weak system of public support all the more problematic.

          1. pgl

            Nicely said. But before Jonny pulls the new debating trick he must have learned from Bruce Hall (their claims that we are misrepresenting what he said), let me go back to the tape:

            Jonny boy said Xi eliminated EXTREME poverty.

            But what does extreme poverty mean? Jonny boy did not say so permit me. Living off less than $1.90 a day. Now if some in China is living off $2 a day, Jonny boy would say he is living large. Yea – he is that stupid.

      2. pgl

        Jonny boy thinks China is doing a better job at reducing poverty than the US. Of course Jonny boy does not understand that poverty is defined differently across nations. Yea the troll could not be bothered to read this:

        What does global poverty look like if we rely on the notions of poverty in countries like Denmark, the US, or Germany? And how should this perspective inform our aspirations for the future of global poverty?
        by Max Roser
        March 05, 2021
        Abstract: The extremely low poverty line that the UN relies on has the advantage that it draws the attention to the very poorest people in the world. It has the disadvantage that it ignores what is happening to the incomes of the 90% of the world population who live above the extreme poverty threshold.
        The global poverty line that the UN relies on is based on the national poverty lines in the world’s poorest countries. In this article I ask what global poverty looks like if we rely on the notions of poverty that are common in the world’s rich countries – like Denmark, the US, or Germany. Based on the evidence I ask what our aspirations for the future of global poverty reduction might be.
        In every country of the world there are people living in poverty. Even in the world’s richest countries the poorest people often live in poor housing and struggle to afford basic goods and services like heating, transport, and healthy food for themselves and their family.
        Those who are in monetary poverty also have much poorer living conditions more broadly. Even in a rich and relatively equal country like Denmark middle-aged men who are among the poorest 20% of the population die on average 9 years earlier than those among the richest 20%.1 In Denmark a person who lives on less than $30 per day is considered poor, and it is the declared goal of the country to reduce poverty relative to this threshold.2
        Countries that are much poorer than Denmark also have the goal to reduce poverty. The United Nations declared the objective of ending ‘extreme poverty’ to be the number 1 goal of the global Sustainable Development Goals. According to the UN a person is considered to live in extreme poverty when he or she is living on less than $1.90 per day, this is called the International Poverty Line. According to the latest global statistics almost one in ten people live in extreme poverty globally.
        If we know that poverty is a large problem even in high income countries like Denmark where the poverty line is set at around $30 a day, why should we use an International Poverty Line that is so extremely low to measure poverty globally?
        It is the reality of our extremely unequal world – in which every tenth person lives in extreme poverty – that makes such an extremely low poverty line necessary. Without having an extremely low poverty line we would not be aware of the fact that a large share of the world lives in such extreme poverty. The UN’s global poverty line is valuable because it draws attention to the reality of extreme poverty in our world.

        Jonny thinks making $2 a day is great because China ended extreme poverty? OK! I checked and the US poverty threshold is higher than this Denmark $30 a day. Look it would be great if the US made sure every person earned at least $50 a day or more. But Jonny boy is the kind of person who celebrated Trump getting into office which of course doomed any ability to resume anti-poverty efforts.

        That Jonny boys spews intellectual garbage without the most basic understanding of the issues is nothing new.

  8. ltr,924,132,134,534,536,158,186,112,111,&s=NID_NGDP,NGSD_NGDP,&sy=2007&ey=2022&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=.&br=1

    October 15, 2022

    Total Investment & Gross National Savings as a Percent of GDP for Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States, 2007-2022


    Total Investment ( 40.4)
    Gross National Savings ( 50.4)


    Total Investment ( 42.4)
    Gross National Savings ( 51.6)


    Total Investment ( 45.5)
    Gross National Savings ( 50.2)


    Total Investment ( 47.0)
    Gross National Savings ( 50.9)


    Total Investment ( 47.0)
    Gross National Savings ( 48.8)


    Total Investment ( 46.2)
    Gross National Savings ( 48.7)


    Total Investment ( 46.1)
    Gross National Savings ( 47.7)


    Total Investment ( 45.6)
    Gross National Savings ( 47.9)


    Total Investment ( 43.0)
    Gross National Savings ( 45.7)


    Total Investment ( 42.7)
    Gross National Savings ( 44.4)


    Total Investment ( 43.2)
    Gross National Savings ( 44.7)


    Total Investment ( 44.0)
    Gross National Savings ( 44.1)


    Total Investment ( 43.1)
    Gross National Savings ( 43.8)


    Total Investment ( 43.1)
    Gross National Savings ( 44.5)


    Total Investment ( 42.6)
    Gross National Savings ( 44.4)


    Total Investment ( 44.8)
    Gross National Savings ( 46.4)

  9. ltr,134,534,158,111,&s=PPPGDP,&sy=1980&ey=2022&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=.&br=1

    October 15, 2022

    Gross Domestic Product based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) valuation for China, Germany, India, Japan and United States, 1980-2022


    China ( 303)
    Germany ( 855)
    India ( 372)
    Japan ( 1,068)
    United States ( 2,857)


    China ( 27,743)
    Germany ( 4,888)
    India ( 10,194)
    Japan ( 5,607)
    United States ( 22,996)

    1. ltr,924,132,134,534,536,158,922,112,111,&s=PPPPC,&sy=2007&ey=2021&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=.&br=1

      October 15, 2022

      Gross Domestic Product per capita based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) for Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom and United States, 2007-2022


      Brazil ( 15,424)
      China ( 16,564)
      France ( 49,782)
      Germany ( 56,468)
      India ( 6,972)

      Indonesia ( 12,482)
      Japan ( 43,459)
      Russia ( 28,495)
      United Kingdom ( 49,576)
      United States ( 65,052)

  10. pgl

    Real GDP Per Capita (US$): China,of%20India.%20Real%20GDP%20Per%20Capita%20%28US%24%29%3A%20China

    Real GDP per Capita in China is estimated to be $8,242 US dollars at the end of 2019.
    The economy of China has grown at an average annual growth rate of 5.5%

    China’s economy has grown quickly with impressive increases over time in income per capita. But anyone comparing this economy to the US, UK, German, French, or Japanese economy should note China still has a long way to go.

  11. pgl

    Ever wonder where JohnH gets his insanity? From his Kremlin bosses:

    Lavrov: Ukraine must demilitarize or Russia will do it
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has warned that Ukraine must meet Moscow’s demand for “demilitarization” and the removal of the military threat to Russia

    Ukraine never was a threat to Russia. Russia attacked Ukraine. Of course Russian pathetic army was no match for the Ukrainians who are not about to demilitarize. Lavrov – eff off.

    1. Anonymous

      the “gold standard” of democracy: the absolute right to be host to nato weapons, right next to their target.

      1. pgl

        Are you lurking around the Kremlin stealing JohnH’s dog food? Putin has two pet poodles but only one serving of dog food per day.

  12. pgl

    Star War fans got to watch The Clone Wars but in real life the two Koreas seem to be off on some Drone War:

    South Korea sent drones across the border into North Korea for the first time on Monday, an unprecedented tit-for-tat military move after Kim Jong Un’s regime dispatched five unmanned aerial vehicles into its air space. The exchange of drones, which briefly stopped flights from taking off at major airports near Seoul, came as Kim opened a major political meeting to set security, economic and political policy for the coming year, the official Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday. He has spent the past year improving his atomic arsenal, showing no interest in returning to nuclear disarmament talks that have been stalled for three years. Kim’s regime sent five drones across the border on Monday, the first time he has done so in more than five years. The first one crossed the border at 10:25 a.m. and returned after flying for about three hours. Four more were detected Monday afternoon and later vanished from radar, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

  13. Econned

    In referencing your final paragraph you’re clearly not suggesting to be anti-schadenfreude with respect to other (non-Chinese) economies. Could you elaborate on these examples? Specifically how the plight of such laborers and households could be a good thing so long as there’s a prosperous global economy?

    1. pgl

      Dr., Chinn was responding to this from JohnH:

      ‘Krugman could well be right about Russia and China one of these days…even a clock is right twice a day. But until then he’s just giving hope to neocons and liberal interventionists who revel in schadenfreude…and then just leaving them frustrated when doomsday fails to arrive.’

      Take a stand Econned – are you endorsing the usual nonsense from our Economic Know Nothing JohhH? Specifically, do you think the Ruhissian economy did not go through ruble devaluations and falling output in 2015? Krugman stated they might and I noted a lot of well informed accounts that they did. But JohnH thinks all of this is incorrect.

      Come on Econned – dazzle us with your knowledge of economic history for a change. This sound be fun!

      1. pgl

        “Specifically how the plight of such laborers and households could be a good thing so long as there’s a prosperous global economy?”

        Could it be – Econned is all for progressive trade protection? Careful there Econned – you might get banned from the young Republican clubs.

  14. David O’Rear

    Measurement issues:
    Walk into a rural household at regular 5-year intervals.
    The rise in prosperity cannot be missed.
    No exchange rate shenanigans needed.

    In the initial (post-1978) period, it was all about deregulation.
    When the government stopped sucking surplus wealth out of the countryside, farmers started coining it.
    Urban (surplus) workers actually returned to family (responsibility system) farms to make money.

    Strictly controlled imports and FDI export requirements generated enough forex to cover essential (fuel, machinery) imports. Hugh policy conflict.
    Early HK and later Taiwanese FDI-for-export, and some import substitution, helped build policy confidence.
    More deregulation, fewer pure export requirements, and easier JV terms began to attract Western FDI (the Japanese and Koreans were very late to the game).
    Two-track exchange rate system (FECs and Rmb) somewhat isolated the external economy; nothing wasted on imported consumer goods.

    Further deregulation amid steady increases in new FDI and a growing capital stock began to have a second, massive effect on productivity.

    Greater integration with North-east Asia supply chains led to products — almost wholly made by foreign-invested companies — finally being able to generate an appropriate quality-to-price ratio. Sales to the world began to dampen already easing global inflation.

    By 1997, China was exporting (directly) more than Hong Kong.

    WTO admission ended the domestic policy discussion about “how far / how fast?” to further liberalize, finally killing off Chen Yun’s conservatives.

  15. ltr

    December 27, 2022

    China’s ecological environment improved greatly over past decade: CAS

    BEIJING — The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) released a series of reports on Tuesday revealing that China has made great achievements in its ecological environment over the past decade.

    The reports show that the total amount of freshwater resources available in China’s lakes and reservoirs has increased significantly. The transparency of most lakes has steadily improved, as has the biodiversity in some important lakes.

    The reports also point out that the overall area of China’s wetlands is on a trend of continual recovery, while wetland biodiversity protection has been fruitful.

    As for mountains, the prevention and control of soil erosion has been highly effective, and an efficient mountain disaster prevention and control system has been built.

    According to the reports, water conservation in the arid areas of northwest China has seen remarkable results, with increasing efficiency of water use and the expansion of areas using water-saving irrigation.

    The reports also state that the ecological environment in the three urban clusters of Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, Yangtze River Delta and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has steadily improved. The quality of the atmospheric and water environment has improved significantly. The efficiency of resource and energy use has increased, and pollutant emissions have dropped.

    Zhang Tao, vice president of CAS, said that in the past 10 years, China’s ecological environmental protection has undergone historical changes.

    CAS released the series of reports with the aim of helping to promote ecological environmental governance and protection in China through the scientific and systematic understanding of research objects, Zhang added.

  16. AS

    Is anyone following Siddharth Kara, an adjunct lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy? From what I understand, China controls cobalt mining “in the southeastern Congo, the cobalt industry forces laborers to dig for cobalt by hand on 12-hour shifts, dealing with horrific work conditions for payment of about $1 or $2 a day.”

      1. AS

        I think the point Kara is making is that the Chinese are operating the cobalt mines with “modern slavery”.

        Quite a contrast to the propaganda we hear and are exposed to by Itr, about how benign and wonderful China is.

  17. ltr,532,546,111,&s=PPPGDP,PPPSH,&sy=1980&ey=2022&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=.&br=1

    October 15, 2022

    Gross Domestic Product and Share of World Total based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) for China & United States, 1980-2021


    China ( 2.3)
    United States ( 21.3)


    China ( 3.3)
    United States ( 22.2)


    China ( 4.0)
    United States ( 21.6)


    China ( 5.8)
    United States ( 19.8)


    China ( 7.6)
    United States ( 20.3)


    China ( 10.0)
    United States ( 19.1)


    China ( 14.1)
    United States ( 16.7)


    China ( 16.5)
    United States ( 16.3)


    China ( 18.5)
    United States ( 15.7)


    China ( 18.9)
    United States ( 15.7)

  18. John B

    Interesting article about how autocracies appear to overstate economic growth greatly (and, consequently, levels) – sorry about the paywall:

    …and the Twitter feed, which you can actually look at:

    The TL;DR for this thread is that China appears to have about half the GDP it claims to. Russia too, give or take a little, as I’m reading it off a chart that you can see at the Twitter link.

  19. Erik Poole

    Many EMEs would be happy with the growth exhibited during the Xi-Jinping era.

    Slower economic growth after over 2 decades of fever pitch growth rates seems normal.

    I understand the pitch. Chinese welfare does not matter. But what the Chinese can do for the rest of the world, that is important.

    Besides, the USA has decided to decouple itself from China in order to solve deep, thorny structural economic problems on the home front. Or did I misunderstand? Was all the China demonization and fable telling just for the purpose of the mid-term elections?

    On the bright side, at least the Biden Democrats and MAGA Republicans have a lot in common.

Comments are closed.