Depending on how you look at the economic data, China is now the second largest economy in the world, or will surely be by the end of the year. Data released by Japan showed that economic growth has slowed almost to a standstill, showing an annualised rate of just 0.4%, significantly lower than the first quarter's 4.4%. Japan's nominal gross domestic product is $1.288 trillion for the second quarter, significantly less than China's $1.377 trillion. However, Japan's annual GDP is still bigger than China's for the first half of 2010, at $5.07 trillion, while China's is $4.9 trillion. Barring nothing less than a miracle, Japan will surely lag behind China in annual GDP by the end of 2011. Economists project that China will become the world's biggest economy by 2027, overtaking the United States for top spot, which will be the first time that the US won't be the largest economy in the world since anyone bothered to keep score. The US annual GDP is currently at $14 trillion, but in terms of growth rate, it lags far behind China's 10.3% annual rate. The US base their diplomatic influence on the fact that they have the biggest stick, which in turn is based on the fact that they have the most money, so it will be interesting to see how all that changes once China has more dosh than Uncle Sam. Read more: The AP and Bloomberg News.
"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." ~ Thomas Paine