ZAGREB, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- China is set to become the leader of the world's economy, a Croatian expert said in an interview with Xinhua on Tuesday.
Ljubo Jurcic, former Croatian Minister of Economy and now professor at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Zagreb, said that due to strong economic growth and its huge size, China is already the "locomotive" of the global economy.
In the past 20-30 years, the U.S. economy has slowed down while the Chinese economy has been rapidly expanding, Jurcic said. China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew to about 18,000 billion U.S. dollars last year, meaning it is currently the second largest economy in the world.
According to the latest projection by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), China's economy is set to rebound this year, as mobility and activity pick up after the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. This in turn will provide a boost to the global economy.
The IMF report said that the Chinese economy will expand 5.2 percent this year, against 3 percent last year, thereby contributing a quarter of global growth.
Jurcic agreed with these predictions, noting that although the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the Chinese economy somewhat, it is expected to resume strong growth after the refinement of pandemic measures by the government.
In the last 20-30 years, China has transformed its economic structure, and the Chinese economy has become more resilient, Jurcic said. It also has a huge population and market.
However, the United States-led Western world regards China's rise as a challenge, Jurcic stressed, because the current world order is still based on its reorganization in 1945 after the second World War.
Nevertheless, China will inevitably replace the United States as the global economic leader, Jurcic said.