Beijing is on the cusp of overtaking America as the powerhouse of global trade, the Russian president has argued.
Within the next three decades, China will surpass the US in every aspect of its economy, Vladimir Putin said, predicting that America will lose its position of dominance in finance and trade.
Speaking to journalists at his annual end-of-year press conference on Thursday, Putin pointed out that “today, China’s economy is already larger than America’s in terms of purchasing power parity.” According to him, “by 2035-2050, it will have surpassed it and China will become the leading economy in the world according to all metrics.”
However, the Russian president continued, the West is working to undermine the world’s most populous nation and strangle its growth. The US-led boycott of the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing purportedly over human rights abuses is an attempt to make sure China “cannot raise its head” above its competitors, he added.
Putin blasted the decision as “unacceptable and erroneous,” and an “attempt to restrain the development of the People’s Republic of China.” Washington announced the decision over concerns for the safety of tennis player Peng Shuai, who disappeared from public for several weeks after accusing former vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. The Women’s Tennis Association has suspended all tournaments in the East Asian nation in response.
Earlier this month, Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks via video link amid escalating tensions between the two nations and the West. In the wake of the discussions, the Kremlin revealed that the pair had agreed to develop a shared financial system to reduce reliance on US-dominated platforms. The move appears to be a response to a series of warnings that Western nations could push to disconnect Russia from the Brussels-based SWIFT financial system as a form of sanction.
During the press conference on Thursday, Putin said China is his country’s number-one partner, adding that “we have very trusting relations and it helps us build good business ties as well.”
“We are cooperating in the field of security. The Chinese Army is equipped to a significant extent with the world’s most advanced weapons systems. We are even developing certain high-tech weapons together,” the Russian leader added.