|I really don't view the Chinese as a military threat as long as the west does nothing to openly provoke/antagonize them in such a way that it galvanize a sort of unity amongst this people. It seems China is very much walking down the road of dividing itself. The economic strain that will be provided by the demographic imbalance will provide the inner problem that China will likely rip itself apart on.
The strategy of containment is the most prudent course of action. The narrative should be clear if any military action commences. China started it. Armed with this its possible via the net and dissent internally that Chinese popular support to atrophy quickly and end the will to fight quickly.
The corrupt and selfish nature of my experiences with Asian culture provides a further weight dividing and demoralizing these formidable forces. If you don't scare them into unifying and operating coherently it is my opinion that they would self destruct.
So, give them 50 years and I'll revisit this topic in the twilight of my life. Then we might see conditions there stabilize and culture re-engineered to where they could project power effectively.
So far, all they've managed to accomplish is chalk up some big numbers on paper. Knock over a rather toothless opponent in Tibet. (who also happened to be pretty passive)
Sun Tzu himself doesn't think numbers alone are the juice alone amigos.
So, en garde ye fellow armchair generals.