If this is true, why?

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Here’s an article showing comparison of China’s economic status and other Nations besides U.S.A.
Although not specify towards GDP gives a variety of alternative comparisons.

China’s major cities – particularly Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai – have some of the highest GDP per capita in the country (each at around $30,000), but are still well below those of developed-economy cities such as New York at $69,900 or Tokyo at $43,700.

Rising wages have led to a steady increase in China’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, which now stands at $14,358. This figure falls between the per capita income of other developing countries like South Africa ($13,139) and Brazil ($15,377), but is significantly lower than the $42,355 average of OECD economies.

In 2016, China’s total debt amounted to 257.1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).

China has an above average home ownership rate of 87 percent compared to 67 percent in the US. Its household debt to GDP ratio is similarly lower at just 49 percent in 2017 compared to 80 percent for the US

In 2002, China’s middle class was only four percent of its population. A decade later, this number had climbed to 31 percent, constituting over 420 million people. China’s growing middle class presents an array of new economic opportunities, but also poses significant political and demographic challenges.

China’s urban population skyrocketed from 19 percent of the total population in 1980 to 58 percent in 2017.