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China Seen as World's Largest Economy by 2030

Published Tuesday, 11th December 2012 12:14 am - © 2012 Dow Jones

WASHINGTON--China will be the world largest economy as Asia surpasses North American and European power by 2030, according to a new U.S. National Intelligence Council report published Monday.

Overturning more than two centuries of Western global dominance, no longer will the U.S. and European nations maintain a monopoly of power, but will likely share it with dynamic emerging economies in a multi-polar world. That is the assessment in "Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds," a report published every four years to outline likely developments for incoming, or in this case, returning administrations.

"Asia will have surpassed North America and Europe combined in terms of global power, based upon [gross domestic product], population size, military spending, and technological investment," the report said.

And while the U.S. will likely remain "first among equals" amid the new global power architecture, the Department of National Intelligence believes China's economy will likely overshadow the U.S. a few years before 2030.

The 2007-2008 financial crisis accelerated a tectonic shift in power from the U.S. and Europe to emerging economies, stumping U.S. growth and sparking a series of sovereign debt emergencies in the euro zone.

Over the next two decades, the intelligence report expects European, Japanese and Russian economies are likely to continue in "relative declines" while China, India, Brazil and regional players such as Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa and Turkey will become especially important to the global economy.

Global demand for energy is seen growing by 50% as populations and the middle class expand, but the U.S. could become energy independent by 2030 as it taps new-found natural gas resources.

Write to Ian Talley at

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