What does it take to become a superpower? We don’t have enough time (or space in this article) to get into that in detail, but in short it takes three things: soft power (the ability to influence other countries), hard power (military might) and economic dominance. China ticks the first and third boxes, and is some way off the second one.
But in 2020, we expect China to flex its muscles more often in the South China Sea with its growing naval might. In Europe, it will look to expand its influence in Brussels through friendly nations, thanks to its economic aid, giving it the ability to stifle actions against their economic interests in the eurozone. On trade, it will certainly look to squeeze Trump more in the run up to his reelection in November.