Well, "West" ultimately means "United States," especially if Europe gets its Euro-act together.
At Salon, Pepe Escobar has a great, in-depth essay on this. Some economists estimate that, by some measures, China's economy will be larger than the U.S. one by the end of this decade.
How did we get here? In part, the "engagement" policy of H.W. Bush's mainline conservativism was expanded by neolib Bill Clinton, who argued that "engagement" with China economically would lead it to more democratic-style political development. Twenty years on, other than worker protests, we've seen none of that, and none from the top, where the upcoming "replacement cadre" of future leaders is in some cases more Maoist than the current class.
Meanwhile, back here, neoliberalism has increased economic disparity in a way that models China's. So what does the New York Times do? It mocks it, with a mockery that Digby notes it never gave to the various astroturfed tea party groups.
So, legitimate rage that wants neolib excess reigned in by regulation gets mocked. Semi-legit rage that gets usurped by hypercapitalists to argue for less regulation gets treated seriously.