But the FT does have a short, but interesting piece on how countries in the region have been buying lots of submarines, fighter aircraft, and long-range missiles over the past few years.

Military analysts are warning that China’s increased regional power has caused its south-east Asian neighbours to step up their own defence purchases, raising the prospect that territorial disputes in the South China Sea could turn violent.

That all makes The Washington Post’s take on China a bit of a mystery.

The piece declares that the Chinese government “has embraced an increasingly anti-Western tone in recent months,” and runs down moves on a variety of fronts to support its case.

The shift has accelerated as China has emerged stronger from the global financial meltdown, with a world-beating economic expansion rate and a growing nationalist movement. China has long felt bullied by the West, and its stronger stance is challenging the long-held assumption shared among Western and Chinese businessmen, academics and government officials that a more powerful and prosperous China would be more positively inclined toward Western values and systems.

“[T]he long-held assumption … that a more powerful and prosperous China would be more positively inclined toward Western values and systems.” Hmm. Somehow, in the shuffle, I must have missed that meme memo.

This is where reported facts beat sweeping, not-particularly-well-supported generalizations by a wide margin.

Holly Yeager is CJR's Peterson Fellow, covering fiscal and economic policy. She is based in Washington and reachable at holly.yeager@gmail.com.