I read every single day about China becoming the great economic and probably military power of the the 21st Century. This will no doubt happen, I do not dispute it. But I do not think they will have a smooth ride to superpower status. No country can sustain large scale, rapid economic growth without periodic recessions and/or depressions. America had plenty during its acendency. It is a fundamental aspect of the business cycle. Right now China is enjoying history's most massive economic boom. It follows that they will endure history's largest recession. China is intricately tied to US debt and economic growth. Peak oil is probably going to force a disruption in world trade, either this year of in 2006, then China's growth will come to a halt.
I believe China will regain momentum, but it will be as the center of a world-dominant Asia, and it will take a long time to build such an economy.