China may overtake the US as the world's biggest economy by 2028, a report by the UK-based think tank Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has predicted.
CEBR noted the economic and soft power struggle between Beijing and Washington has been "an overarching theme of global economics for some time".
"The COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding economic fallout have certainly tipped this rivalry in China's favour", the report noted, referring to Beijing's "skillful management of the pandemic" which added to improving the country's economic performance.
CEBR Deputy Chairman Douglas McWilliams, for his part, pointed out that the speed of growth of the Chinese economy was the "big news" in the think tank's forecast.
"We expect it to become an upper-income economy during the current five-year plan period (2020-25). And we expect it to overtake the US a full five years earlier than we did a year ago", McWilliams argued.
He added that other Asian economies are "also shooting up" CEBR's annual league table of the economic growth prospects for 193 countries.
"One lesson for western policymakers, who have performed relatively badly during the pandemic, is that they need to pay much more attention to what is happening in Asia rather than simply looking at each other", CEBR's deputy chairman underscored.
US-China Economic Ties
The think tank's report comes a few weeks after US President-elect Joe Biden pledged that his administration will pursue a trade policy that would actually lead to progress in tackling what Biden described as "China's abusive practices", including alleged theft of intellectual property and transfer of technologies from US companies to their Chinese counterparts. Beijing has repeatedly denied all US allegations of unfair trade practices.
In a separate development earlier this month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that Beijing is ready to maintain a dialogue with Washington on strategic and long-term issues, adding the countries should boost negotiations at various levels.
US-Chinese economic relations have been strained since 2017, when Washington updated its National Security Strategy to portray Beijing as a major threat to American interests. Trump slapping tariffs on Chinese imports further exacerbated bilateral ties, leading to a tariff war.