Yesterday's release of UK GDP figures had senior Chinese government officials hastily drawing plans to reshape their economy to stave off their resurgent new rival.
"Our paltry 7.7% growth figures that we announced a few weeks ago", read a Communist Party statement, "gave us enough cause for concern on their own. But coupled with the UK's enormous 0.3% growth, we now realise that in this global race we are sadly lagging behind".
Off the record, senior party grandees are concerned that the collapse of the Chinese boom relative to their British competitors will lead to mass civil unrest and demands for more and greater freedoms. "How we tackle that is difficult to envisage", a party official who wished to remain anonymous said. "After all, now that our economy is tanking and Britain's is booming, we can't afford their weapons any more".