China’s rise is glamorous and generally welcome for Australia. Chinese civilisation is respected for its longevity, arts and ancient yet enduring philosophies. After China’s troubles from the Opium War in the mid-19th century to the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, many Chinese and non-Chinese feel China finally deserves a place at the top table. “China’s progress is good for China and good for the world,” said John Howard in New York last week. Yet let’s be clear-eyed about Beijing’s varied goals and its chance of success.