I tend to agree with you Bob....
In the 1980s, there was a common opinion that the Soviet Union did not want war but victory. Its government was made of old men, who were attached to their privileges, and did not want a war, as it would have meant risk for them to lower their status. On the other hand, at the same time, they built up weaponry, in order to frighten Europe, and to influence it, and gain more control. It was said it was willing victory without war. History tells us it did not happen.
I feel that China position nowadays is somehow the same: CHinese government people do not want war, but victory. The difference, is that I can see they put in place all the right policies to achieve their goal. They are manufacturing for European and American customers, building huge cash, and then owning European and US debt. Who owns debt gets control.
This is no longer restricted to manufacturing, but also all the creation jobs, engineering, R&D, marketing, strategy, etc. On top of this, as Chinese are not more stupid than any one else, they are developing their own industry and expertise, an conquering more markets. DOn't forget that China educates one million new engineers every year.
Now, we also know that "civilizations are mortal" (Paul Valery -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Valéry
). So we have no certainty that CHina will succeed in buying the world and in achieving supremacy. It might be another power....