Even though China doesn't have many of the leading technologies in some areas, it has put together a vast network that at some point may enable it to leap frog the rest of the world and advance in all areas at a pace no other power could keep up with. Just like all empires though, the greatest threats are internal, most collapse from the inside and China's great size makes it especially vulnerable to this. AI though may actually break the rules of history and change this, like it will drastically change everything else. The article below is just but one of many interesting views. Managing a great new power is as difficult or more so than creating it. The best managers will win. I'm more an economics person and am following this very closely, since this is what I do for a living. Comments and additions appreciated.