"Racing" toward economic domination? Really? We heard the same about Japan 30 years ago.
The difference between China and Japan is that the post WW2 Japanese state is the creation of the United States. The ruling party of Japan for most of the post war years has been the Liberal Democratic party formed after American occupation. It was built and organised and supported and financed to be a bulwark against expansive communism. And it faithfully supported the US through all its years in power.
At the time that it seemed that Japanese economic power may threaten its American hegemon, somehow, in some way, Japanese economic power suffered an eclipse. We will never know what could've happened if Japan had indeed 'raced ahead.'
And before that we heard the USSR was going to take over the world. Same fears, different decades.
Was the fear of Soviet domination an economic fear or a political fear? I suggest that the American elite were really scared by what they saw the Russians do in the closing stages of WW2. If not in Soviet's final drive on Germany, then certainly by the lightning war on Japanese occupied N.E. Asia, when an Army of 500,000 scorched across Manchuria in less than a fortnight.
But the USSR was still a socialist state and socialist states are not efficient. Why? Because too many humans are essentially lazy and will look for any chance to dodge work - and the bigger the work unit, the more opportunities there are to dodge work.
American propaganda that the USSR was bent on World domination was just that - propaganda! Doesn't matter if Stalin believed it himself - it was just US propaganda of the 'reds under the beds" type.
This article in TIME points out that China is good at manufacturing but not at managing business and not at breakthrough creativity that is needed to transform a nation into an economic superpower. The article points out that China as a whole is about 50 years behind the USA in terms of knowing how to run large businesses and developing effective research and development.
Re-assuring isn't it? But not neccessarily true. The Chinese are out there learning how to do things. And more, there is a 2000 y.o. continuous tradition of international trade in their DNA. Without the Chinese even trying, the Chinese tea-trade nearly sent England broke in the early 19th C.
Let me quote from a book by a very bright woman* whose work, "The Last Stand of Chinese Conservatism-The Tung Chih Restoration 1862-1874," I often access for the insights she offers into the pre-modern Chinese state. In my 1966 edition (Atheneum) she writes (p.150),
" ... "pre-modern" technology had been developed to a remarkable degree. ... Nineteenth century observers noted, as had the Jesuits mbefore them, that the Chinese 'work mines, amalgamate metals, and work them in all sorts of ways - work them, in some instances, as the foremost nation of Europe cannot."
and, as an example of overtaking Europeans in their (the Europeans) in their own game, Wright observes (p. 179) that Chinese merchants of that era, were:
" ... shrewd and able businessmen, quick to learn and readily able to compete with foreigners for the profits of foreign trade."
Believe what you will about the Chinese, but I suggest you make a big mistake if you underrate them.
The future belongs to the innovators, and the USA has plenty of those and continues to attract them.
I would not underrate the USA either, the USA certainly has been "innovative." And, I want to make clear that I do not thnk that 'China" will overtake the 'USA' anytime in the next 10-15 years. But innovation is a human quality, not limited to one nation. Already Chinese names (often working in American research centres) are starting to appear on scientific papers.
However, being pragmatic, why would the Chinese want to squash any other nation out of existence, Their policies, I suggest, are win-win. That way you may come back and buy something else from them.
* Mary Clabaugh Wright (born Mary Oliver Clabaugh; Chinese name 芮瑪麗 Ruì Mǎlì; September 25, 1917 – June 18, 1970) was an American sinologist and historian who specialized in the study of the Chinese Revolution of 1911. She was the first woman to gain tenure in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale University, and subsequently the first woman to be appointed a full professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale.