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China wants to be a middle-income country without a middle class

Innovation and free thought will boost economy, but politics comes first

| China
An ever-expanding list of off-limit topics -- political, economic, social -- seems designed to empty out the minds of the middle class.   © Reuters

On January 17, Ning Jizhe, Director of China's National Bureau of Statistics, announced that the country's gross domestic product had reached 99.1 trillion yuan ($14.3 trillion) in 2019, and that per capita GDP surpassed $10,000.

This landmark carries significant symbolic importance: economists would now consider China a middle-income country, whose inhabitants have enough money day-to-day and limited disposable income.

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