Articles like this, "China Bulds a Smaller, Stronger Military" truly make me fear for the future. Most of the time I am a very happy optimistic person, aside from the occasional panic attack... But when I think about China, populous, becoming rich, demanding resources, smart, and seemingly very naturally aggressive, and able to target the US with nuclear ballistic missiles... Combined with coming years of peak oil production and resource conflicts... Well, the world doesn't seem like a very happy place anymore. I start thinking things like, well, maybe it's good we're in a war. It's good practice! Maybe we should give more money to the military... GAH! Peace and flowers! But China Scary! Brain short circuit. What are we going to do in the coming Chinese-Taiwan war? Stand back as Taiwan gets flattened? Intervene? And get how badly burned? Will Taiwan acquire it's own nuclear technology? Will Japan get sucked in? (Will that involve giant robot mecha? Woo! Wait...) Will the subsequent nuclear escalation end the world?
Is there a way to effect a peaceful cultural revolution? Is there a Chinese Sesame Street? Can we please get better at diplomacy? How long will it take China to become rich and decadent and soft? Will we have a Cold War with China? (Hey, does that mean I get to go to Mars?) Or a very short, very hot war?
I suppose it makes me understand, in a more visceral fashion, how the rest of the world sees the United States.