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Say "ni hao" to the Chinese century. That's the message from Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Speaking at the DealBook Conference in New York City on Thursday, Blankfein said the Asian giant's economy will eventually overtake the U.S., saying "this could very well be the Chinese century."

"Their economy is going to be bigger than our economy even though they're poorer than us on a per capita basis," he noted. He said the big question in the U.S. is whether the economy is going to grow at 2.75 percent or 3.75 percent; in China, the range is 4 percent to 9 percent. Not that Blankfein is dissing the U.S. economy. "There are a lot of positives to the economy," he said. He noted falling energy prices, an improving housing market, and lower leverage in the system. On falling oil prices, he said that Europe "should be ecstatic" given their energy imports. He said the drop in prices was also a positive for the U.S. economy.


-- Lawrence Delevigne, CNBC