China topples Japan

China surpassed Japan as the
world’s second-largest economy last quarter, capping the nation’s three- decade
rise from Communist isolation to emerging superpower.

Japan’s nominal gross domestic
product for the second quarter totalled $1.288 trillion, less than China’s
$1.337 trillion.

Japan remained bigger in the first
half of 2010.

 Japan’s annual GDP is $5.07 trillion, while
China’s is more than $4.9 trillion.

China led the world out of last
year’s global recession with an economy that’s more than 90-times bigger than
when leader Deng Xiaoping ditched hard-line Communist policies in favour of
free-market reforms in 1978. The country of 1.3 billion people will overtake
the U.S., where annual GDP is about $14 trillion, as the world’s largest
economy by 2027, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chief economist Jim
O’Neill.

China’s surpassing of Japan “is a
marker of its increasingly dominant role in the global economy,” said Eswar
Prasad, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former head of the
China division at the International Monetary Fund. “The resilience of China’s
growth during the crisis enabled a number of other countries, particularly
commodity-exporting economies, to ride on its coattails.”

China overtook the U.S. last year
as the biggest automobile market and Germany as the largest exporter. The
nation is the world’s No. 1 buyer of iron ore and copper and the second-
biggest importer of crude oil, and has underpinned demand for exports by its
Asian neighbours.

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