The FT story that China is poised to overtake the US as the world’s largest manufacturing nation has been widely picked up in the States – and I’m not surprised. This is just one of a number of milestones that China is rushing past. Over the last 12 months, China has become the world’s largest exporter – displacing Germany. It also became the largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the world’s largest market for vehicles, displacing America in both cases. And China has had the world’s largest foreign reserves for some time.
These numbers are cumulatively significant, since they show that the emergence of China as a genuine superpower is not a story set in the future. It’s happening here and now. Read more