The dragon's footprints
China is the economy at the leading edge of the Great Convergence. According to Angus Maddison’s estimates, for example, its economy accounted for almost one third of global output (measured on a PPP basis) in 1820. The onset of the Great Divergence saw that share fall to 17 per cent by 1870, 11 per cent by 1900, and to less than 5 per cent by 1950, where it stayed until around 1980. According to IMF forecasts, by 2015 China’s share of the world economy will be back up to 17 percent. And according to most long-term forecasts, it will then rise further.