Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi ranked No. 2 on the Forbes magazine list of the World's Most Powerful Women.
She followed Angela Merkel, the first woman to become chancellor of Germany.
Forbes noted that Wu continues to help lead a government that oversees an economy whose gross domestic product may soon eclipse Germany's, making it the third-biggest in the world.
"Wu recently stared down US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson when he made myriad demands, including a revaluation of the yuan, in recent strategic economic talks with the US," Forbes said.
As for Merkel, "She continued to impress the world with her cool leadership at two back-to-back summits," the magazine wrote. "First, she stuck to her principles, getting G-8 leaders to agree to significant cuts in carbon emissions, among other things. Merkel later corralled European Union countries into an agreement on a treaty to replace the EU constitution."
Merkel held the top title for the second year in a row. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice slipped to fourth from second last year.
Ho Ching of Singapore, chief executive of Temasek Holdings, was third.
Several other female heads of state or government made the list, including Britain's Queen Elizabeth at No. 23, New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark at No. 38, Finland's President Tarja Halonen at No. 50 and Philippines President Gloria Arroyo at No. 51.
US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was No. 25, and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi No. 26, while first lady Laura Bush was 60th.
Other Chinese on the list included Wu Xiaoling, deputy governor of the People's Bank of China at No. 18; and Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, No. 37.
(Shanghai Daily September 1, 2007)