The general consensus might be 'yes', but I don't think China will overtake the US as the number one economic superpower, even if China has greater wealth than the United States. China will one day have greater net wealth that the US, but it will not control the world's economy the way the US does. One thing that we have learnt over the past few years is even with a financial crisis all eyes still turn to the US to see what the next move is. This will continue and will be strengthened by the US's ability to control, to its advantage, its position in the world's economy. An example of what is going on is the US's ability to put pressure on devaluing its currency, which then helps its exporters. Another side to this effect is a low USD creates inflation around the world (including China) and makes the price of soft and hard commodities to go up. This can have a pricing-out effect on some competing nations. Inflation and commodity prices are tied to the US dollar and this gives the US all the advantage it needs to control the world economy as it generally sees fit. China will not be in a position to take this control off the United States and it will try very hard to do so. One reason is because the US has an established foothold in the dynamics of the world's economy and it won't give that up. It will also have a more superior military force than the Chinese, so it can pretty much give them and anyone else the finger if it needs to. Another crucial point is that China does not have a key understanding of how a dynamic and sometimes out of control capitalist market works. You just can't go on controlling every aspect of an economy. The US and the west has too much of a head-start in this game. If China frees-up its markets then it will face the prospect of unrest, higher inflation, a very strong yuan (which will kill its exports) and possible revolt by some provinces down the track.