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China overtakes Japan to become world's second economy

China has formally overtaken Japan as the world's second largest economy.

The latest official figures from Tokyo show Japan's gross domestic product increased by just under four per cent in 2010, a far slower rate of growth than China's and not enough to keep its economy ahead.

This marks the end of an era for Japan which has been the world's second biggest economy for more than 40 years.

China's three decades of surging growth have coincided with a period of stagnation in Japan that has led to the once poor China taking the number two spot.

The BBC's Martin Patience looks at one of the main drivers of China's growth - its large low-paid migrant workforce.

  • 14 Feb 2011