A question one hears with increasing frequency in foreign affairs discussions is an exasperated "What do the Chinese think they are doing?" I confess to having asked the question, and not facetiously either, more than a few times.
Denny Roy of the East-West Center has just produced a startlingly brief (just over 1000 words) essay offering the answers (plural) to the above question. A mere double handful of national goals seem to circumscribe and propel Chinese diplomatic and security behaviors.
I take issue with the assertion at the beginning of the concluding paragraph ("Most Chinese do not now aspire to superpower status"? Ah non, non, no, au contraire, mon ami, they really do aspire to it) but I most certainly will keep the essay nearby (figuratively speaking) to consult whenever the Beijing regime's actions and reactions befuddle me.
Recommended reading. (Link)