5. Demographic Decline: This is a link to an article about Japan's inevitable decline - demographics being destiny - but there's a chilling section in there about China:
Dr Kwan Chi Hung, a fellow at the Nomura Institute and a top China expert, said the long-term prospects for China were "horrible".
This analysis is consistent with the work done by the boys over at Stratfor - despite all the scary numbers, planes, bombs and guns they can produce now, there is a three-part fundamental problem for China: first, the rural/urban growth patterns are not promising. Wealth is being accumulated along the coast...the inner sections of China are still barely out of the Stone Age. Second, the ethnic split wherein less than 30% of the population, the Han Chinese control the rest...and as the economic disparity grows, the rest is going to want some of that. Third, the demographic reality of declining birth rates and aging population. All of this makes for a formidable threat - a wounded animal is far more dangerous than a healthy one. We need to be nimble in our foreign policy and continue to strengthen alliances around the perimeter.