China's economy is grew 9.4% in the first nine months of the year. It isn't clear if this is an annual rate of increase, or an actual increase for the first nine months alone (implying that GNP is growing by about 12% a year). If this is an annualized rate, this is equivalent to doubling output every seven years and a few months. If this is a raw number, this is equivalent to doubling output every six years.
China currently has a GDP of about $5,600 per capita in 2004. At this rate the per capita GDP of China would reach a level higher than Russia, South Africa or Chile by 2010 to 2012, and would surpass Greece, Kuwait and Israel by 2016-2020.
Of course, no one expects exponential growth at these kinds of rates before, but even a few years of growth at this rate can have an immense effect.
Despite being a fairly stable nation which has had open, Democratic elections for decades, India, with a per capita GDP of $3,100, lags behind its East Asian rival (the only country in the world with a greater population, which is still officially ruled by the Communist Party in a one party state).