China is fearful of becoming the world’s leading economic power and does not want to overtake the US. That’s the argument Kai He, Associate Professor of Political Science at Utah State University, has put forward in an article for the RSIS Commentaries on June 2, in which he suggests three reasons why China “doesn’t want to be number one”.
A major report back in May that suggested that China’s economy will overtake that of the US this year was met with opposition from an unlikely source: Beijing itself. A message published by China’s state media questioned the accuracy of the report, which was based on World Bank figures, and discouraged people from “reading too much into it”.
But why would Beijing refute the suggestion that it will be the world’s leading economic power before the year is out?