With the soft landing of a lunar probe and rover on the moon (found HERE) China became the third independent organization to do that.  Given their determination and will to continue into space, if they are successful in establishing a space station and landing a person on the moon they will be the first nation to put a person on Mars.  This is my prediction unless something or some world event intercedes.  The Russians no longer have a viable spacefairing program and neither do we in the United States.  Unless we get off our collective butts and restart our space program in earnest the Chinese will become the dominant superpower in the world thanks to the technological breakthroughs landing humans on Mars will require.