China is on the cusp of keeping a big promise — a vow to double its GDP and income in a decade and take the country to the forefront of the global economic power structure.
The nation now faces the challenge of keeping the momentum going in the face of mounting challenges.
The ascension began in the late 1970s with a move to more open markets. It continued through aggressive central planning, utilizing the advantages of cheap labor, a devalued currency and a robust factory system to spread its products around the world.
All of that changed the economy from slumbering rural decay to a prospering diverse superpower. The country now seems on a inexorable path to No. 1.
China has climbed to No. 2 in the world, with a GDP of $13.1 trillion that, while still trailing the U.S., keeps getting closer. Forecasters expect that growth just north of 6% in 2020 will get to the stated goal of doubling the economy from 2011-20.