China is rapidly acquiring the means to become a major regional power, if not a global one. But capabilities alone are insufficient to predict behaviour. China’s greatest strength, its economy, is also its greatest weakness, meaning that its behaviour will continue to be driven by the overarching need for stability. Of course, history also tells us that rising powers will often disrupt the status quo, resulting in conflict. Consider Japan in the late 19th century and first half of the 20th. Furthermore, if the domestic situation in China were to deteriorate dramatically, which is not impossible, the CCP could also resort to the age-old trick of turning attention onto an external opponent as a means to stoke nationalistic fervour, in which case assumptions of rational behaviour would be of little use.