By the end of 2000, the United States’ economy had grown to US$10 trillion, the first in the world to do so, while China’s gross domestic product (GDP) exceeded US$1 trillion for the first time (China Information News, 1 January 2001). Andy Xie, a Hong Kong-based economist with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, commented that China’s economy is next in line, ‘We believe that China will be the next economy to reach US$10 trillion in today’s dollar terms. It will probably take place within two decades and could happen in 15 years (Chinaonline, 6 February 2001).