After stagnating for more than two decades under the rigid authoritarianism of early communist rule under its late leader, Chairman Mao , China now has the world's fastest-growing economy and is undergoing what has been described as a second industrial revolution.
The High Court bid comes after the European Court of Human Rights last week gave its final approval for their extradition.
Moreover, the fast-growing economy has fuelled the demand for energy. China is the largest oil consumer after the US, and the world's biggest producer and consumer of coal. It spends billions of dollars in pursuit of foreign energy supplies. There has been a massive investment in hydro-power, including the $25bn Three Gorges Dam project.
Beijing says the island of Taiwan is a part of Chinese territory that must be reunited with the mainland. The claim has in the past led to tension and threats of invasion, but since 2008 the two governments have moved towards a more cooperative atmosphere.
Human rights campaigners continue to criticise China for executing hundreds of people every year and for failing to stop torture. The country is keen to stamp down on what it sees as dissent among its ethnic minorities, including Muslim Uighurs in the north-west. The authorities have targeted the Falun Gong spiritual movement, which they designate an "evil cult".
Mr Riddle Moncler Doudoune, the chief magistrate, said: "I am satisfied that the purpose of these proposed proceedings is to stop or delay extradition of the two named proposed defendants to the USA.
The economic disparity between urban China and the rural hinterlands is among the largest in the world. In recent decades many impoverished rural dwellers have flocked to the country's eastern cities, which have enjoyed a construction boom. By the beginning of 2012, city dwellers appeared to outnumber the rural population for the first time, according to official figures.
Anti-extradition campaigner Karl Watkin wanted to prosecute Babar Ahmad and Syed Ahsan for solicitation to murder.
2 August 2012Last updated at 10:57 GMT Bahamas profile
Nowadays China is one of the world's top exporters and is attracting record amounts of foreign investment. In turn, it is investing billions of dollars abroad.
However, Mao's death in 1976 ushered in a new leadership and economic reform. In the early 1980s the government dismantled collective farming and again allowed private enterprise.
The pair are fighting extradition along with radical cleric Abu Hamza, who is accused of planning a terror training camp in the US and assisting hostage-taking in Yemen, and Adel Abdul Bary and Khaled al-Fawwaz, who are accused of being aides to Osama Bin Laden in London.
The rate of economic change hasn't been matched by political reform, with the Communist Party - the world's biggest political party - retaining its monopoly on power and maintaining strict control over the people. The authorities still crack down on any signs of opposition and send outspoken dissidents to labour camps.
His lawyers had asked for Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer's permission for a private prosecution under terrorism laws.
But district judge Howard Riddle Outlet Hogan, sitting at Westminster Magistrates' Court, refused the application.
"The public will decry this decision as it supports a trial of British men thousands of miles from Britain, where the alleged crime was committed simply because in the DPP's opinion, the evidence is too weak to prosecute here," he said.
24 June 2012Last updated at 09:57 GMT China profile
Head of state: Queen Elizabeth II, represented by a governor
Mr Ahmad has been held in a UK prison without trial for eight years after being accused with Mr Ahsan of raising funds for terrorism.
Businessman Mr Watkin, who is based in Newcastle and has interests in China and Australia, had already lost a previous bid to privately prosecute Mr Ahmad and his co-accused Mr Ahsan.
Critics fear that oil development could harm the ecology and tourism sector. Mr Christie supports exploration, but insists he will protect the vital tourism industry.
The People's Republic of China (PRC) was founded in 1949 after the Communist Party defeated the previously dominant nationalist Kuomintang in a civil war. The Kuomintang retreated to Taiwan, creating two rival Chinese states - the PRC on the mainland and the Republic of China based on Taiwan.
"The application is made many years after the events complained of. It appears to have the co-operation and support of the proposed defendants themselves. It comes as almost all other ways of resisting extradition have been exhausted."
Patrick O'Connor QC, representing Mr Watkin's legal team, later told the High Court there would be no appeal over this decision.
The High Court is hearing final legal arguments against extradition on Thursday morning, with a judgement in the case expected on Friday.
Chinese rule over Tibet is controversial. Human rights groups accuse the authorities of the systematic destruction of Tibetan Buddhist culture and the persecution of monks loyal to the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader who is campaigning for autonomy within China.
The collapse in international export markets that accompanied the global financial crisis of 2009 initially hit China hard, but its economy was among the first in the world to rebound, quickly returning to growth.
In February 2011 it formally overtook Japan to become the world's second-largest economy, though by early 2012 the debt crisis in the eurozone - one of the biggest markets for Chinese goods - was beginning to act as a drag on China's growth.
But Mr Starmer turned down the application saying that the documents provided by Mr Watkin were "very short, lack any meaningful detail and do not provide any real support for a prosecution".
As a member of the World Trade Organization, China benefits from access to foreign markets. But relations with trading partners have been strained over China's huge trade surplus and the piracy of goods.
"If that's not outsourcing our criminal justice system, I don't know what is."
The Progressive Liberal Party returned to power at elections in May 2012, and party leader Perry Christie became prime minister for the second time. He defeated Hubert Ingraham's Free National Movement, which had won parliamentary elections in 2007.
Other pressing problems include corruption, which affects every level of society, and the growing rate of HIV infection. A downside of the economic boom has been environmental degradation; China is home to many of the world's most-polluted cities.
The former has led to demands for Beijing to raise the value of its currency, the renminbi, which would make Chinese goods more expensive for foreign buyers and possibly hold back exports. Beijing has responded with a gradual easing of restrictions on trading in the renminbi.
He said Mr Starmer's decision "smacks of a determined effort to extradite both these men" and said their cases were worlds apart from that of convicted terrorist Abu Hamza al-Masri.
Some Chinese fear that the rise of private enterprise and the demise of state-run industries carries heavy social costs such as unemployment and instability.
4 October 2012Last updated at 13:38 GMT Babar Ahmad and Syed Ahsan private prosecution rejected
A second bid to bring a private prosecution against two suspected terrorists to keep them in the UK has been rejected by a district judge.
Separately, Mr Ahmad and Mr Ahsan are among five men asking judges to grant injunctions against their extradition to the US where they are wanted on terror charges.
Mr Christie, 69, was prime minister in 2002-2007. Top of his agenda now is tackling the high unemployment rate Doudoune Moncler, concerns about rising crime figures, and controversy over oil exploration.
It has also launched an amibitious space exploration programme, involving plans to set up a space station by 2020.
Mr Watkin had said he was calling for a UK trial because the alleged crimes had taken place in the UK and the Crown Prosecution Service had not acted. He said 149,000 people had signed a petition to Parliament about the case.
Social discontent manifests itself in protests by farmers and workers. Tens of thousands of people travel to Beijing each year to lodge petitions with the authorities in the hope of finding redress for alleged corruption, land seizures and evictions.
The leadership of Mao Tse-Tung oversaw the often brutal implementation of a Communist vision of society. Millions died in the Great Leap Forward - a programme of state control over agriculture and rapid industrialisation - and the Cultural Revolution , a chaotic attempt to root out elements seen as hostile to Communist rule.
The PLP had dominated Bahamian politics up until 1992 Abercrombie, when the FNM swept to victory on an anti-corruption programme. The PLP returned to power in 2002, and the two parties have alernated in government ever since.
China is the world's most populous country, with a continuous culture stretching back nearly 4,000 years.
He said it was "an abuse of the process of the court" and it was "not in the interests of justice".
Many of the elements that make up the foundation of the modern world originated in China Hollister Online Shop, including paper, gunpowder, credit banking, the compass and paper money.
Prime minister: Perry Christie
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