Was Paul speaking ex cathedra?
The estimable Professor Paul Dibb has just put out a Kokoda paper (reviewed by the equally estimable Cameron Stewart in the Oz) , in conjunction with John Lee, arguing that a great deal of hype accompanies the assertions that China is overtaking the US as a military power.
No argument there.
China's military does lack modern combat experience and have major deficiencies in doctrine.
My difficulty lies with his linking this to the assertion that therefore China "is not now or foreseeably a strategic peer of America". That's a big call.
And, as I'm sure the Professor would admit, this doesn't necessarily mean that Beijing couldn't (either) achieve local superiority or severely compromise Washington's ability to act as it chooses.
If Beijing thinks it's a big power, it will act as one. And who knows what might happen in future . . .
PS - Like Kokoda, here's another view of China's economy. The headline suggests China's soaring past the US, but if you read down you'll see the rise is not inexorable. Change is the only constant and nothing is certain . . . except that journo's love good headlines.