Fastest-growing economy is hot on the heels of the US, overtaking Japan
• China is the world's second-largest economy after the US, officially overtaking Japan in February last year.
• It is the world's fastest-growing major economy.
• Its growth rates have averaged 10pc over the past 30 years.
• It is the largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods in the world.
• Last month, official figures indicated city dwellers outnumbered China's rural population for the first time.
• The values of the goods and services it produces is €8.5 trillion a year, of which 47pc is industry, 43pc services industry, and 9.6pc agriculture.
• Its main industries are mining and ore processing, machine building, armaments, textiles and clothing.
• It is the top producer of sex toys, with 70pc of the world's sex toys made there.
• Its main exporting partner is the US, followed by Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Germany.
• Its main importer is Japan, followed by South Korea, the US, Germany and Australia.
• It has a labour force of 816 million, of which 38pc are employed in agriculture, 27pc in industry, and 34pc in services.
• Unemployment is around 6.5pc.
• The salaries of workers are much lower than those in Europe or the US. The hourly wage for factory workers in southern China is only about 75 cents an hour.