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July 7, 2005 3:00 AM

China rising as one of world's economic, military powers

If the 20th was the American century, the 21st may belong to China. Just five years into it, China has become the worlds third-largest trader, one of its fastest-growing economies, a rising military power in Northeast Asia and a global player extending its influence in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Americans and people around the globe can feel the effects of Chinas voracious appetite for resources and the enormous output of its factories, staffed by an endless stream of migrants who toil for $2 a day churning out low-cost goods, undercutting foreign competitors and upending the low-end global work force.

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