Since the Imjin War of 1592, when China and Japan had their first major conflict, the rivalry between the two nations has been intense. But there is little doubt that in purely economic terms Japan has been the winner in the past 150 years. But a symbolic passing of the baton could occur this year. According to research by the China Policy Institute at the University of Nottingham, China will overtake Japan as the world’s second biggest economy in 2009. The research indicates that in 2008 China and Japan’s GDPs reached $4.42 trillion and $4.68 trillion respectively. With Japan’s growth now anaemic, and China still confident of growing at 8%, this implies that the Middle Kingdom could eclipse the Land of the Rising Sun this year.
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