Re: Very long, very scary
China has one very obvious achilles heel. They are even more dependent on imported oil than we are. They produce very little of their own. In a major global engagement at this time, their economy could be shut down in a matter of days. In 5-10 years when most of their proposed pipelines are complete, they would last a couple of days longer. This is why they are such big fans of Iran. Why who controls Afghanistan might actually be an issue (see a map of proposed world pipelines). Why they might get aggressive in contention for the Spratley Islands in the Pacific. I would suggest that China would not be ready to overtake us in the near term, but they are a patient nation and are probably thinking 50 years ahead, one cheap gizmo at a time. Unless a convenient oportunity can be presented to them...
You can't be too rich, too thin, or have too much firepower.