Amid what President Xi calls "profound changes unseen in a century" (百年未有之大变局 bǎinián wèi yǒu zhī dà biànjú) brought about by the rise of China, the decline of the West, and the subsequent tension between China and the US, how will China achieve its second centenary goal of becoming a "strong, democratic, civilized, harmonious, and modern socialist country?" From the perspective of economics, Professor Lin argues that once China's GDP per capita reaches half of that of the United States, which will meanwhile lose the technological edge it uses to keep China in a stranglehold, China-US relations will transition to a new phase of mutual acceptance and peaceful coexistence. For over four decades, China has used its "latecomer's advantage" – imitating, importing, or integrating existing technologies and industries – to achieve its rapid growth. Now, in the context of the US's crackdown on Chinese tech firms, Lin contends that China can continue to enhance its innovation capabilities through cooperation with countries in Europe and Asia, and it can boost domestic innovation in key areas through China's nationwide system (举国体制 jǔguó tǐzhì). In spite of major challenges like the aging population, carbon neutrality, and rural revitalization, China will still achieve an annual growth rate of at least 6 percent until 2035, followed by a growth rate of 4 percent until 2049, at which point it will reach a GDP per capita half the size of the US's and fulfill its second centenary goal.
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