This is a very exciting time. If the USA and the EU can manage the situation well, we could build a possible three way alliance whose power would be extreme. We stand at the brink of a moment in history when a huge bulk of people could move into the 21st century, into democracy and freedom. Allied with the USA and the EU, minor irritants like Iraq would last about a day.
China is already half the size of the US economy, a little more than half the size of the EU economy, and obviously considerably ahead of Japan and Germany, the next biggest players. This, after only a few years and baby steps into just a minor touch of capitalism.
I think the most interesting things to watch will be:
1. How the Chinese government handles the move to a market economy; the flood gates are opened and I don't think it can be stopped now, and
2. How the EU and (especially) the USA handle the rise of a country whose economy could become larger than anyone ever thought an economy could be.
I think the Chinese symbol for 'danger' or 'risk' is the same one they use for 'opportunity' - or maybe this is just bs I heard on an internet forum.
Anyway, we've got a tremendous, perhaps first-time-in-history chance to have the vast majority of the world move towards democracy, freedom, and economic opportunity: I think we are up to the task.
source of economic data: