It all started with President Nixon opening up negotiations with the Chinese so the US could place listening posts along their border with Russia during the Cold War, ignoring the mass murder of their own citizens through starvation to rival today's North Korea and the consistent jailing of political opponents of "Communism." In reality China is neither a Communist nation nor a Republic, it's a dictatorship on par with the various Chinese dynasties for the last several millenia, complete with crony politics that are only emulated here in the states (our guys still have a lot to learn) that include gifts to local magistrates to be allowed to conduct business in their regions, etc. Nixon and Kissinger's "achievements" were hailed as a great success. Really it was just because they saw Russia as a bigger threat and the government of China at the time agreed with us on that front. Nobody foresaw China becoming anything greater than it was at the time because it lacked any serious industrial infrastructure.
Then years later came President Bill Clinton with his "Most Favored Nation" trading status, which went against his statements during his presidential bid. It separated the need for China to make advancements in human rights in order to maintain trade with us, and it was even opposed by several in his own party, including Nancy Pelosi of all people. It also had the somewhat unknown effect of removing nearly all tariffs on Chinese goods imported into the U.S. This isn't the case for goods heading the other way, not that we have anything the majority of Chinese people would want to buy anyway, and it removes a rather large source of income that is actually constitutionally available to the federal government without increasing taxes on our own citizens AND makes the prices more competitive in regards to goods manufactured stateside (very few goods manufactured in the U.S. can compete price-wise against goods made in China because of the massive regulations and tax burdens imposed here).
Then in June 2011 the Treasury department gave China a direct line on U.S. Treasuries that allowed them to bypass Wall Street primary retailers, something required of nearly every other foreign buyer, including Japan, a country that is actually an ally of ours (and still required to pay import tariffs btw). This shields their purchases from statistics that Wall Street uses to price the various bonds and sell at higher prices, thus allowing our government to get a better deal on debt sold to foreign bond purchasers (and reducing the influence said purchasers may have on our government). If anyone misses the national security threat there, they are blind, or they are purposely selling us out.
In August the Chinese deployed their first aircraft carrier. They had purchased it from Russia, disassembled and reverse engineered it, then put back together so they could make their own later. It's eerily similar to how Japan was buying up all of our scrap metal years before WWII and then used that metal to build aircraft carriers they then used to attack Pearl Harbor. Armament buildup is a precursor to increased aggression, and China has a pretty poor record of respecting the opinions of their own people, let alone other nations. Case in point coming along in September when they started harassing a number of Vietnamese ships in Vietnamese waters while claiming that territory belong the China.
Then a short break from China building up their military for them to get final approval from the Fed to purchase a U.S. bank. The bank in question was China's ICBC (Industrial & Commercial Bank of China), however China has already shown in the past that the government has overall control of all activities that occur in their country. The fact that many of their larger computer companies are basically reserve units for China's cybermilitia shows that "private" company or not, anyone with eyes knows who is really calling the shots.
Then, earlier this month China lays a more serious claim to an island within the territorial waters of the Philippines (the islands are about 100 miles off the coast of the PI, while 500 miles from China). They proceeded to blame the increased aggression on the Philippine government, and then threatened them with military force if they didn't give in. These are the people our government is ceding control of the Pacific to by downsizing the U.S. Navy and refusing to approve replacement vessels for ships in serious need of decommission (ones like the USS Essex, which I was stationed on for 4 years, and always had serious problems like this recent event).
Then just this morning it was announced that a Chinese firm has bought out AMC to form world's largest theater chain in the world. Sure, that doesn't seem so bad right? I mean it's just the movie industry, and they've been pissing everyone off lately anyway... The only problem is that such a large theater chain means they now have an even larger source of income coming to them from foreign shores. More foreign money that is siphoned right into the hands of the Chinese government.
People who don't believe China is a serious threat need to go back and look at China's own history. They are very patient people, but when they think they have enough to win, they will go out to conquer other regions. They will bluff and bully others into giving in to save their resources for now (and gain the resources of the bullied in the process), but eventually they will use that rather large military to get what they want. As a nation we cannot afford to keep denying what is right in front of us. The above events don't seem like much when viewed individually, but even more recent history closer to our shores shows what can happen when a nation decides to press another by using the purse rather than the cannon. Anyone remember Spain's downfall through British and French mercantilism? Their fall from prominence wasn't all brought about by violence...