Is the Size of China’s Government Growing?
The size of government in China, when measured by general government revenue, is actually smaller than in the United States. However, the supporters of smaller government in China have been in retreat since China’s last large fiscal reform implemented by Premier Zhu Rongji in 1993-94, which has seen the size of China’s general government rise from only about 10 percent to now just under 25 percent of GDP. At this pace of government expansion, China’s general government should eclipse the size of the US general government’s roughly 30 percent of GDP shortly after 2020.
This chart was taken from our latest PIIE Briefing, China’s Economic Transformation: Lessons, Impact, and the Path Forward, in the essay by Jacob Funk Kirkegaard titled "Continent-Size Fiscal Unions: Lessons for China from the United States and Europe."