To many in the United States, China looms large and threatening. This monograph attempts to answer, through an analysis of China s defense establishment under the leadership of Jiang Zemin, questions such as: What are the national security and national military goals of China s leaders? What strategies are Chinese leaders considering in pursuit of these goals? What is the likelihood that these goals will be attained? It assesses the political and economic determinants of China s effort to modernize its armed forces. Four possible strategies are outlined: (1) playing the superpower game," (2) playing to its strengths," (3) changing the rules of the game," or (4) don t play that game." The factors that will determine the selection of a strategy are examined. The most likely strategy is identified and its outcome of evaluated. Lastly, the implications of the study for the U.S. defense community are addressed.