My guess is that this article was written as a warning to the new generation of Chinese leadership, set to come into power in 2012. For the new generation coming to power and their followers, who have witnessed China's transition over a 30 year period from one of the poorest nations in the world to a global power, the worry is that they see limitless opportunities for China. At the same time, they know that China is challenged on the resources front, and feel that the only way out is for China to work to weaken US power, confronting the US not only economically, but also perhaps militarily. This is because they see a narrow window of opportunity in the period between now and 2020, when China's aging population will serve to slow growth. In their eyes, China must grab the brass ring of global leadership from the US in the next decade; otherwise the opportunity will be gone.

There is some concern that the Chinese military is chafing at the bits, anxious to fan Chinese nationalism over Korea and Taiwan. For the generation now stepping down, this is a warning that the US should not be underestimated, and that it would be foolish to think that the US is either near collapse, or is completely unable to recover from its current challenges.

The situation is very similar to pre-WWI Germany, when a rapidly industrializing Germany felt that its path to global leadership was blocked by Great Britain. The Germans saw Britain as a great power in decline; their over-confidence set the stage for confrontation, first with Britain and France, then with the US. Now, China is occupying the same role Germany did, and the dangers and opportunities are largely the same.

In this context, this article is a warning from the older generation to the younger generation that the US's power is still great, and will last for another 20 years. The message is that direct confrontation with the US within this timeframe would be disastrous for China because the US is still a leader in many key areas, and has the capability to revive.