New Gallup polling says more than half of Americans believe China is the world's "leading economic power." This simply isn't even close to being true.
As the blogger Jamelle Bouie noted in December, "[W]hile China is richer than it has ever been, it is still much poorer than the U.S; at just over $14 trillion, the U.S. economy is larger than China's by nearly $9 trillion. Put another way, rural poverty and subsistence farming is still the rule for the great majority of Chinese and will likely stay true for the foreseeable future."
And as Matthew Yglesias points out, not only is America richer than China, but so are Ecuador, Uruguay, and Belarus. Nevertheless, you never hear anyone reporting from Minsk about how the Belarusians are going to be dominating America soon.
This isn't to say that China isn't seeing some really phenomenal growth patterns, of course. But simple sustained growth does not a "leading economic power" make—not yet, at least.