A very good summary of where China is at from a US perspective. Some breathtaking stats, e.g. soft power version 1: the students.

The lesser-known side of the story is that China is also now a major consumer of U.S. goods. About one-quarter of the soybeans grown in the U.S. go to China, as well as one in five of planes manufactured by Boeing. Apple now sells more iPhones in China than in the U.S. China is also a big consumer of American services, like education: One in three foreign students in the U.S. is now from China.

Shanghai’s Pudong district 1987 and 2013.

In 1980, the average American earned $12,575.57 per year in current international dollars, while the average Chinese earned $302.31 — a gap of 42 times. But by 2015, this gap had shrunk to four times.

There are more members of the Communist Party than the UK population.

About 6 percent of Chinese people are members of the Communist Party — a group of 86 million that includes almost all government officials, business leaders and other social elite.

Soft power: version 2

The economies are so tied through investment, debt, business deals and trade that they may very well rise or sink together. On the economic side, China is now investing more money in the U.S. than the U.S. is in China. Given all of these ties, it’s in the U.S. interest to work with China, at least sometimes, as a close partner.

Source: 7 simple questions and answers to understand China and the U.S.