It is interesting that in all the threads that I have read till date on China, no one has even mentioned the state of mind of its rulers. One may think that it would be of utmost importance considering China's political system has no pressure valves - such as direct elections, judiciary, and the press (the proverbial fourth estate). In a closed electoral school ideologies and personal views are stronger and more rampant than in our senior bureaucracy. In our case the bureaucracy is restrained by our financial lobbies, politicians (who vie for re-election), and judiciary. China has no such issues. In about two dozen books I have read on China, there is one thing common from the writers about China Political System, its opaqueness, presence of distinct political camps within it, and the absolute fear of its populace (of course, there no experience of this system). It would be interesting to have views on this since to me it seems recipe for an imminent disaster. Considering the President of China is from the biggest political camp within the party, and controls the armed forces. To what extent can their fears drive them? It has often driven them towards international stand-offs to showcase their strength to their people. The need to save face. When the day, and it will, comes that its populace satisfied of their basic needs want more - more rights, more freedom, more say - what would the ruling party do to keep the people in control. Would they go the Indian way and cause inner divisions to advance their political needs (a.k.a BJP vide Babri incident, Gujrat etc, Shiv Sena the Maratha issue, Congress the sikh roits pogrom)? Or would they go the American way, and seek unity through war outside their borders?... Would India seem the best bet then? Water problems a.k.a false propaganda with Pakistan, and Internal conflict in China - one of these seem to be the most likely as the cause of our next war today. It would worthwhile extending this thought a bit.