But the path to the next stage charted by the Communist Party, when China takes its place at the heart of the global power nexus, will not be easy.
As Rana Mitter writes, if China is to be a world leader, it is not enough for one-party rule to be seen as merely efficient. It must also win hearts around the world.
In a separate piece, Yu Jie offers a new way of telling China’s modern history over the past century. Her conclusion: the party has negotiated many twists and turns, but instability is never far away.
Our interview is with Lord Rees of Ludlow, the Astronomer Royal. Behind his quaint title stands an eminent astrophysicist whose mind ranges over the threats to humanity from nuclear war to bio-attacks, the benefits of colonizing Mars and the way for a young scientist to make a quick impact.