No, they did not. Only Chinese pirates.
There is no developed nation with a weak legal enforcement and moral corruption. Which will tell you that China won't become a developed nation.
Economically large, yes. But GDP/Capita will remain well below that of developed nations.
Duh - Uh, everyone? Anyone ever hear the difference between a democracy and a communist state? No country becomes a "developed nation" under communism. They build what they are told, they sell it for what they are told. You cannot compete in a capatilistic manner when you simply don't comprehend what capatilism means.
They build copies because that is what they are told to build. They don't develop new, create, invent, etc., because they get paid the same regardless. What is the motivation? I build the same old thing, I get paid X yen. I work my brains out, create a better mouse trap, and I make exactly the same thing. There is no motivation.
Not China bashing. Love China. Women are beautiful. More culture than most other countries combined. But world power? Uh, no. Not as long as they have thier current government.
Should they become democratic / capatilistic? Then watch out, because they will set the world on fire.