For decades, European countries assumed that China is a benign force in international relations.
U.S. Department of Defense, Military Power of the People’s Republic of China, 2002
USCI Military Affairs video presentations and other resources are available here. Other U.S. Department of Defense reports on China's military:
The report addresses the current and probable future course of military-technological development on the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the tenets and probable development of Chinese grand strategy, security strategy, and military strategy, and of the military organizations and operational concepts, through the next 20 years. This report to Congress addresses specific questions in four sections on Chinese strategy, Chinese military forces, China’s arms sales from the former Soviet Union, and the security situation in the Taiwan Strait.
This report begins with a cautionary note that was first outlined in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Net Assessment’s Report to Congress on Implementation of the Taiwan Relations Act in 2000. The Net Assessment report surveys how little is known about the most significant aspects of Chinese military power. Chinese secrecy is extensive. China reveals little in its Defense White Paper about the quantity or quality of its military forces. China’s defense spending may be some four times larger than its public announcement in March 2002 of a defense budget of about $20 billion. Since the 1980s, U.S. military exchange delegations to China have been shown only “showcase” units, never any advanced units or any operational training or realistic exercises.
Tensions evident in the recent European Union-China virtual summit reflect the increasing skepticism in Europe toward China and the worries over Ukraine and economic ties as well as human rights and environmental issues.