Congrats China, You’re Upper-Middle-Income!

Last Wednesday, an official from the National Development and Reform Commission laid out China’s plans to be among the World Bank’s high-income ranked economies by 2020, noting that currently, China is classified as an “upper-middle-income” country (with a 2012 gross national income per capita of $5,720 according to the World Bank’s most recent statistics). In a blogpost last week, iRead (壹读) noted that while China’s upper-middle income status is debatable, the country’s tax burden already firmly plants it in this standing [zh]:

[…] China’s income level might be open to debate, but the tax burden shouldered by its people is extremely clear. A report published in 2011 by the Central University of Finance and Economics showed that China’s tax burden was greater than that of upper-middle-income countries. In other words, although it’s an open question if we Chinese are of upper-middle-income, we already enjoy the tax burden of upper-middle-income countries.

Research shows that from 1994 to 2009, China’s overall tax burden increased from 16% to 30%. Although this statistic cannot be officially confirmed, it is clear that tax revenue has surpassed GDP growth in China for many consecutive years. Over the same period, corresponding benefits… yeah, you get it.

The Development and Reform Commission has stated that China will likely be nearing the level of a high-income country by the last year of the 13th 5-year plan (2020). If China maintains its current rate of development, then China will naturally become a high-income country in about ten years. In other words, by that time, China’s average per capita annual income will surpass 10 thousand U.S. dollars. Let’s just hope that things like housing and gas prices don’t rise even faster as well, heh heh.

中国的收入水平或许还值得商榷,但中国人的税负水平可一点都不含糊。中央财经大学2011年发布的一份研究报告显示,中国的税负水平高于中高等收入国家。也就是说,虽然咱们有没有中高等收入国家的收入另说,但中高等国家的税收咱们已经在享受了。

有研究显示,从1994-2009年,中国宏观税负水平从16%提高至30%,该数据尽管未能得到官方的证实,但税收收入连年超过GDP增长,这个是有目共睹的。与此同时,相应的福利……你懂的。

发改委说,中国有可能在第十三个五年计划最后一年(2020年)接近高收入国家,如果中国能保持目前的发展速度,那么10年左右进入高收入国家是顺理成章的事。也就是说,到时候,人均国民年收入可以超过1万美元,但愿房价、油价什么的不会涨得更快吧,呵呵。

Via CDT Chinese, translation by Little Bluegill.

To offer congratulations to China for its upper-middle-income ranking, Weibo user 狄青子 posted an image drawing attention to the enormous gulf between rich and poor in the country [zh]:

狄青子: Warm congratulations to China for becoming an upper-middle-income country, on average.

热烈祝贺中国成为中高收入国家,平均。@作家崔成浩@袁腾飞@李承鹏

中高收入国家

Via CDT Chinese. Also see prior CDT coverage of China’s wealth gap and urban-rural divide.