Is China a threat to the US?
Is China a threat to the US?
I believe it still has the world's largest airforce, and has potential atomic weapons capability, although the basis of that is based on Western assumptions (Anyone remember Iraq and weapons?). Either way, quite possibly.
That would depend largely on the actions of your current President, I think; Bush and his cronies managed to alienate most of the world through their actions, and arrogance/disregard/content for pretty much everywhere ("Old Europe"!) else in the world, which ultimately resulted in distrust and sceptisim of the United States - I have seen this for myself here in Europe, and such sentiment still exists to a large extent.
If China was sufficiently agitated by American political manoeuvres I imagine it could take actions which would be perceived as an act of agression, and thus an implied declaration of war. However, it may lead to the old US <> Soviet situation of assured mutual destruction, particuarly if ourselves and others are "dragged into" another conflict involving the United States.
So, on balance, I believe that China is a threat to the US in terms of weapon capability, but politically I imagine not; it must be remembered that a significant portion of China's economy is based around exports to "the West" and I doubt they would want to endanger that.
China's only a threat to stupid countries. Ones that really don't know what they're doing, and like to get up people's noses and twist hairs inside.
I'm not saying anything, just that as long as America doesn't do anything stupid, which really isn't a hard thing to do, they'll be fine. Same goes for every other country on this planet.
I don't think China could be perceived as a threat to the US in military terms though. As markdude pointed out, it would create a huge backlash to their economy. However, the western world should feel threatened by (or at least anxious about) the rise of China's economy. Together with countries like India the stand a good chance at leading the world economy pretty soon.
Also, big parts of the world should be seriously worried about China's view on human rights. But I guess that's another thread altogether.
Comparing armies is a pointless exercise nowadays. Unless there's some dramatic shift in global politics, the great powers have no reason to go to war with each other. Their interests heavily overlap, and any war would be disastrous for both sides.
Hard power doesn't work any more. The real threat is an economic and cultural one, and the PRC has worked hard to expand this soft power. However, for the time being at least, China is too economically reliant on Western consumerism and is faced with an ageing population which will put a large strain on Chinese infrastructure.
I don't mind speaking Chinese, but while China is a communist country, it stands no chance in gaining a majority control in the global economy. Simply put, western world wont allow a communist country to lead the world and undermine hundreds of years and millions of lives subduing any other way of life.