U.S. Will Counter Chinese Arms Buildup, New York Times , 1/9/11
Gates might remind the Chinese leadership that trying to match U.S. expenditure on WMD is what eventually disabled the economy of the Soviet Union and caused its collapse.
But still, what must be a most important issue for the Chinese leadership at the moment, and perhaps was throughout modern history, is the military might and capabilities of American-British-Western European capital. (Capital largely managed since WW II by U.S. investment banks.)
Throughout history, socialist revolutions have been made to suffer the military power of capitalist nations and great nation imperialism - invasion, threat of war, blockades. The military might of capital has always forced expenditure on defense at the expense of society's civilian projects.
The establishment of the first socialist state brought immediate invasion by the British and US led armies of fourteen nations to war against the Bolshevik (majority) led Soviet government in Russia in 1918.
Historians have studied the roots of investor need for wars. In the America of 1893, investors were in trouble for a cyclic unsustainability of capital accumulation caused when prices are greatly lowered by increased production made possible by mechanization through technological advances. Lower prices also brought the growing economic and political power of labor, and owners of capital turned to a temporary use of military at home, and then permanent imperialist war overseas, the military conquest of land, resources and markets.
(In the earlier British Empire, the time line for capital requiring military predominance begins after the first overproduction crisis resulting from the industrial revolution introducing mechanization in textiles at end of the 18th century.)
A bibliography would begin with:
ORIGINS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM, MONEY,CLASS,& CORPORATE CAPITALISM 1890-1913 JAMES LIVINGSTON, 1986
The impersonal and amoral need for capital to accumulate is described in the film Godfather, "Tell Michael it was nothing personal, I always liked him, it was just business."
At the present time, Americans don't dislike Chinese and vice versa. And Chinese capital in intertwined with U.S. capital. It is just that business needs to be gotten on with, namely, planning for war.