One of this most striking features of the last three decades is that China's lead in economic growth compared to the Western, or more precisely the OECD, economies has not been declining but increasing - this is due to mild acceleration in China's economic growth and a sharp deceleration in OECD growth. The charts below show this trends. During the 1980s, China’s economy grew on average 6.7% a year faster than the OECD economies, during the 1990s the lead increased to 7.4%, and since 2000 it has been 8.4%.
Figure 1 shows China and the OECD's annual average growth rates, using a ten year moving average to eliminate short term fluctuations. Figure 2 shows the difference in growth rates between China and the OECD economies - again using a ten year moving average. Figure 3 shows the the average difference in growth rates between China and the OECD economies in successive periods.