For the first three quarters of the last century, the People’s Republic of China was one of the poorest countries in the world. Since the beginning of reforms in 1978, however, the economy has grown at an incredible pace. During the 21st century, the Chinese economy has emerged as the second largest and one of the most influential in the world. This book provides a very brief history of the pre-1978 Chinese economy, then focuses more deeply on China’s engagement with and impact on the world, covering everything from China’s rising middle class—which is now larger than the entire population of the US—to China’s thirst for high-end consumer products. The Belt and Road Initiative, China’s ambitious plan to go global, is closely examined, as are financial factors such as the internationalization of the currency, China’s growing debt, and its shadow banking system. Finally, the dynamic between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump will be looked at in great detail, as Sino-US trade relations could change the course of the world economy.