Thirty years ago, China had a tiny footprint on the global economy and little influence outside its borders, save for a few countries with which it had close political and military relationships. Today, the country is a remarkable economic power: the world's manufacturing workshop, its foremost financier, a leading investor across the globe from Africa to Latin America, and, increasingly, a major source of research and development. The Chinese government sits atop an astonishing level of foreign reserves -- greater than US$2 trillion (RM6.8 trillion). There is not a single business anywhere in the world that has not felt China's impact, either as a low-cost supplier, or more threateningly, as a formidable competitor. China is still a poor country. While coastal China and its major metropolises evince tremendous wealth, large swathes of Western China remain mired in poverty. Nevertheless, China's economy is projected to surpass that of the US in size sometime in the next two decades. Meanwhile, the US, the world's sole economic hyper-power until recently, remains a diminished giant.
Rodrik, Dani. "No Easy Way Out of the Chinese Dilemma." New Straits Times (Malaysia), February 7, 2010.