China will overtake US: billionaire billionaire

Image copyright AP Image caption Wang Jianlin, owner of Wanda, sits next to Chinese President Xi Jinping. He is one of China’s richest men

The Communist Party has more control over the economy in China than in the United States, says a well-known billionaire property tycoon.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Wang Jianlin dismissed the Republican Party’s alternative to President Xi Jinping’s economic policies.

Mr Xi is known to favour a mixed-authority management structure.

The billionaire said the Chinese economy was likely to double in size over the next ten years, according to news agency Reuters.

He suggested that Mr Xi would eventually be China’s second “major ruler”, after Mao Zedong.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Mr Wang was speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Mr Wang said that the US economy was also likely to double in size, but that the country did not have as much control over that growth.

“It’s a very different system because we have the Communist Party first, which has more control,” he told reporters in Davos.

He also described the US as an “exorbitant privilege” that many American companies had come to regret during the recent economic downturn.

American luxury brand Coach, whose stock price has plummeted since Mr Wang’s Wanda Group bought it in 2014, is reportedly in talks to sell its 95% stake in the firm to Coach – its first international partnership in China.

Mr Wang’s comments came just weeks after a senior official from China’s central bank warned that the country needed a “complete plan” to manage global economic growth.

A plunge in Chinese exports and imports in December was the worst showing for the economy since the depths of the global financial crisis in 2008.

The downbeat data increased worries that China’s economy was beginning to slow down.

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