The combined gross domestic product (GDP) of Japan and China will overtake that of the United States in two decades, which will reshape the world's economic map, Nobelprize-winning economist Robert A. Mundell said earlier this week in Nanjing.
Mundell, known as the Father of the Euro, Europe's single currency, said China's GDP would reach 4 trillion US dollars by 2020 and 8 trillion US dollars by 2040, equal to the predicted figures for Japan at the same time.
The economist, a well-known professor at New York's Columbia University, said the most important event in the 20th century was the rise of the United States, and in the 21st century, the most important event will be the rise of Asia.
Addressing the Distinguished Scientist Forum hosted by Nanjing University in east China's Jiangsu province, he said Asia is becoming a big area, a big and threatening power and has an equal area to Europe in economic development.
China's economy quadrupled to 1 trillion US dollars in the 16 years from 1980, when Deng Xiaoping, architect of China's policy of reform and opening up, initiated the program to quadruple the country's GDP in 20 years, Mundell said.
Two decades ago, many people in the United States dismissed Deng's ambitious program as a joke because they said China had notrecorded an economic growth rate as high as 7.2 percent in its several thousand years of history.
Mundell is calling for a single currency in Asia, but the biggest obstacle to that is the Japanese yen, since the yen is notstable.
Other currencies in Asia will remain stable as long as the yen and the Chinese currency remain stable, he added.
Stability will enable Asia to create a single currency which like Euro and the US dollar is accepted worldwide.
(People's Daily May 26, 2002)