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China's economy would be larger than that of the US by 2019 and go on to become the world's most important country in three decades more, an official research institute has predicted.
The findings came from the Nation's Health Report issued by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Global Times said, without giving details of the criteria used for the prediction.
According to the Herald Sun, the research said that China ranked as the 11th 'healthiest' country out of some 100 nations, just behind Costa Rica, with Sweden in top position.
The official Xinhua news agency said China was given a national health status of 'up to standard', though the US, Japan and Britain were deemed 'health deficient', the report said
China's stunning economic growth rates, increases in military spending and overlapping security interests in the Asia-Pacific region with the US have sparked concerns the countries could find themselves increasingly at odds in coming decades as they jockey for global influence, the report added.
But the Global Times, which has close ties to China's ruling Communist Party, said the document's findings were seen by some as overly nationalistic.
According to the report, international analysts widely expect China's economy, given its high growth rates, to overtake the US in terms of gross domestic product, or total size, some time in the first half of this century, though differ on exact timing and criteria.
But they also see the US as likely to remain wealthier on a per capita basis given China's huge population of 1.3 billion, with that of the US currently at about 315 million, the report added. (ANI)