China’s economy is poised to overtake Japan’s to become the second largest in the world. From the BBC:
China says its economy expanded by 8.7% in 2009, exceeding even the government’s own initial expectations.
The pace of change increased as the year went on, with growth in the final quarter of 2009 increasing by 10.7% from 2008.
…But [Ma Jiantang, head of the National Bureau of Statistics] played down speculation that China’s economy had now overtaken Japan’s.
“According to the UN standard – that is $1 a day – there are still 150 million poor people in China. That is China’s reality,” he said.
“So despite the increase in our GDP and economic strength, we still have to recognise that China is still a developing country.”