China passed Japan as the world's No. 2 economy in the second quarter Monday. But at $5 trillion GDP, China is still far behind the United States' $15 trillion.
Gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of just 0.4 percent, the government said Monday, far below expectations of 2.3 percent growth in a Kyodo news agency survey.
The figures underscore China's emergence as an economic power that is changing everything from the global balance of military and financial power to how cars are designed. It is already the biggest exporter, auto buyer and steel producer, and its worldwide influence is growing.
China has surpassed Japan in quarterly GDP figures before but its passing of Japan in the second quarter is likely to mark the period in which the lead became insurmountable.