Maybe its just another conspiracy theory (so many to keep track of!), but the Financial Times reports that:

China fought for a year to undermine new data showing it is poised to usurp the US as the world’s biggest economy in 2014 based on purchasing power, according to people who helped compile the report.

The report goes on:

  • “A year ago, there was a huge debate. China wanted to throw this out. They don’t want to be seen as number one. They’re worried about the political implications with the US,” said one person involved in preparing the report. “They begged and threatened for a whole year . . . China hates it,” he said.
  • The main reason for China’s lack of triumphalism is that leaders do not want exposure to the international pressure that comes with being the world’s largest economy, according to people familiar with Chinese official views on the matter.
  • “They certainly don’t want to overstate the size of their economy. They are sensitive about that,” said Vinod Thomas, director-general of independent evaluation at the Asian Development Bank, which played a role in compiling Chinese statistics for the report. “The pushback and sensitivity has been muted publicly but, behind the scenes, it’s been there for sure.”

And, a response;

  • “On a per-capita basis, China is still a very poor country so it does not want to be asked to do too much on the international stage – at least not yet,” said an adviser to senior Chinese policy makers.

The Financial Times (gated, but can be read with a free registration): China tried to undermine economic report showing its ascendancy