• Text

China fully emerged as a power this decade, unsettling global arrangements and stirring a backlash despite long anticipation of the country’s rise.

At the decade’s start, China’s global footprint was chiefly marked by its economic might. Its hard-charging economy soared past Japan to become the world’s second largest. Its companies began pushing abroad, securing resources and markets and serving an expanding middle class, with an appetite for cars, travel and luxury goods. Ambitious development projects at home like a high-speed...