Text by John Ross
Professor John Ross, author of this article, is anexpert on China’s economic issues. A formermayor of London, he now serves as a visitingprofessor at Antai College of Economics andManagement of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
China is rapidly approaching its once-in-adecadechange in president and government,which seems an appropriate timeto survey the country’s economic performanceover the last decade. As the economic data for2012 is not yet in, the decade will be taken as 2001-2011. Strictly speaking, this period includes a year ofChina’s previous administration;
but this is merely astatistical quibble as ninetenthsof the period wasoverseen by the present government.Some statistics overthat 10-year period are wellknown: China became theworld’s second largest economyand the world’s largest goods exporter. But suchstatistics greatly underestimate the scale of China’seconomic achievement. The last 10 years in China’seconomy may be summed up in two overwhelmingfacts which place all other economic data in context.
In the last decade China experienced the fastestgrowth in GDP per capita of any major economy inhuman history.......