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American Intelligence Report Predicts China will be World’s Leading Economic Power by 2030

Beijing, China

Beijing, China

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From VOA Learning English, this is IN THE NEWS in Special English.

A new American intelligence report this week predicted Asia’s economic power rising in the coming years. The report says that by the year 2030, the United States will no longer be the superpower it is today. It says that no nation will have that kind of influence, with power instead redirected to coalitions between countries.

The report comes from the National Intelligence Council of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The document was researched and written by experts from outside the government. They say the findings are meant to help policymakers in their long-term planning on major issues.

The report says the world will look different by 2030. The economy in Asia will be larger than that of North America and Europe combined. China will have the largest economy in the world. And the Chinese economy will be 140 percent greater than Japan’s economy.

Some observers say China needs to take steps before it can become the world’s biggest economy. Patrick Chovanec is with Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management in Beijing. He believes that several things could affect the country’s economic growth.

“China’s growth is extremely resource dependent and those resources are becoming scarcer and scarcer. In particular, water, in northern China, there is a growing scarcity of water, and that along with other resource constraints might limit China’s prospects of going forward.”

Patrick Chovanec says the average age in China is rising because of the country’s one-child policy. He says there are concerns China will grow old before it is wealthy enough to support its growing population.

The new report also says the world economy will be more dependent on the health of developing countries, instead of the West. It says there will be a higher demand on resources as the world’s population expands from seven-point-one billion today to eight billion people.

The report says nearly half of the population will live in areas with severe water issues. It says limited water resources and farmland could increase the risk of conflict in parts of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

Experts are predicting that the United States could become more active in settling disputes in the future. As a mediator, America could work to prevent what the report calls violence created from insecurity in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Robert Kagan is with the Brookings Institution in Washington.

"What the world is looking for from the United States - and it’s not the world - individual states look for protection, they look - in some cases - for the ability to organize. I mean if you take the Syria issue which is before us right now, what people are waiting for is for the United States to step up and start pulling everyone together. And what's been missing has been the United States playing that role."

The writers of the report say their findings are not meant to predict the future, but instead provide a framework for thinking about possible futures. The report adds that the best world possible would exist if the United States and China work together and lead international cooperation.

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