There is a recent trend to portray China as the future's next dominating superpower / rulers of the world or other things among these lines. They have been in the news in the last couple of years, with a rising economy and population but I believe the trend is older than this.
The oldest book that I can remember mentioning this idea is Philip Jose Farmer's Dayworld (1985) but does anyone know when did this trend started to appear in sci-fi books and what was the first sci-fi book to depict or hint at a future dominated by China?
Like John O mentioned in a comment, China was already a superpower since a couple of decades ago and there are old books describing it as a superpower but not the superpower.
For example, in Dayworld, China is not one of the superpowers of the world, but the superpower that conquered and unified the Earth