As the potential for military tension between China and the U.S. always underlies their relationship, let's take a look at two completely different views regarding China and her ambitions. One from Donald Rumsfeld and the other from the famous philosopher, Bertrand Russell. Who has the right way of looking at things? You be the judge.
First, two quotes from Donald Rumsfeld, circa 2005:
"Since no nation threatens China, one must wonder: Why this
growing investment? Why these continuing large and expanding arms
"I just look at the significant rollout of ballistic missiles opposite
Taiwan, and I have to ask the question: If everyone agrees the
question of Taiwan is going to be settled in a peaceful way, why this
increase in ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan?"
In contrast, lets look at what Bertrand Russell wrote in "The Problem of China" in 1922:
"Nevertheless, as regards the other two evils, self-assertion and
domination, I notice a definite superiority to ourselves in Chinese
practice. There is much less desire than among the white races to
tyrannize over other people. The weakness of China internationally is
quite as much due to this virtue as to the vices of corruption and so on
which are usually assigned as the sole reason. If any nation in the
world could ever be "too proud to fight," that nation would be China.
The natural Chinese attitude is one of tolerance and friendliness,
showing courtesy and expecting it in return. If the Chinese chose, they
could be the most powerful nation in the world. But they only desire
freedom, not domination. It is not improbable that other nations may
compel them to fight for their freedom, and if so, they may lose their
virtues and acquire a taste for empire. But at present, though they have
been an imperial race for 2,000 years, their love of empire is