The central committee [of the Chinese Communist Party] believes, as long as we resolve the United States problem at one blow, our domestic problems will all be readily solved. Therefore, our military battle preparations appear to aim at Taiwan, but in fact [are] aimed at the United States, and the preparation is far beyond the scope of attacking aircraft carriers or satellites.~ August 2005 speech by former Chinese Defense Minister CHI Haotian.
So China is itching for a fight that will solve the "United States problem." In one blow, no less.
Keeps me up at night, anyway. Lack of vibrancy.
The possibility of a sudden Chinese military invasion still seems fanciful even to this writer with his now finely-honed and medication-attenuated alarmism. However, that (invasion) is not the only option of the ambitious, unelected, pissed-off Communist kleptocrats who appear not to have domestic problems of any kind. Any time is a good time to ramp up the saber rattling, I suppose, and wars always work out just they way they are planned.
So, yes, let's exhort the commie faithful on how easy it will be to deliver a knockout blow to the Paper Tiger.
A la Pearl Harbor.
Fortunately, "mutual destruction" is still the operative term vis-a-vis Chinese nuclear war calculations, and, one hopes, calculations involving non- or small scale-nuclear exotica whose development has been facilitated by aggressive Chinese theft of technology (3,000 front companies in the U.S.).
Considering who's minding the store these days, that won't change, and your generic concerned citizen has cause for despair. Despair not just because of the absurd cast of characters who are our current political "leaders" but a yet deeper despair at the realization of fundamental flaws baked in to the cake of bourgeois Western society:
The liberal-bourgeois order was flawed at its inception by the relentless logic of democracy, by the anarchy of political parties, by the demagogy of politicians, by a belief in progress, and by the leveling power of equality. Society has become soft, feminine – incoherent to the point of disintegration. This is not merely the work of recent decades, but of recent centuries.
 Quoted in "Further War Preparations?" By J.R. Nyquist, JRNyquist.com, 4/1/14 (my underlining, Mr. Nyquist's brackets).
I decided to read the whole speech of this man Chi. Parts of it seem right out of The Onion and the parts that aren't show Chi to be one stellar psychotic monster.
I note that the publisher of this alleged speech says its authorship can't be verified. Nonetheless, I'll leave this post up for the value there is in the opening quotation and the entire speech linked to immediately above.
That value is in getting Westerners to consider that the Chinese might be using their enormous new wealth to prepare for more than just using some muscle in their immediate vicinity to grab possible new energy sources.
And perhaps in getting Westerners to reflect on the actual ineffectual leadership we have, in particular with respect to how it might deal with the problem of China if even a small part of the thinking evident in this speech is representative of Chinese thinking. It's bad enough that we see that leadership fumbling and dissembling in areas that are relatively low-stakes areas, Ukraine excepted. If the "actual" in these areas is as bad as it is, we should consider that the "probable" with respect to a serious challenger like China is likely to be catastrophic.
Not that we shouldn't reduce our armed forces to pre-WWII levels. I'm certainly not saying THAT.
If the speech is questionable, so be it. However, that would not establish that China is to be trusted or that it is our pal, or anyone's pal. Even this kind of possible fiction should be reflected in our military contingency planning.