China's historical grand strategy: defensive or offensive?


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The main difference between China and Rome though is that for whatever reason, be it geographical or cultural, China was able to be reconstituted continuously in a clear line.
An important difference is that China was one of the cradles of world civilizations, whereas Greece/Rome weren't.

The Roman Empire left a lasting imprint on the European continent where it expanded into uncivilized or semi-civilized lands, whereas on the African and Asian continents it expanded onto lands whose civilizations were many thousands of years older than its own.

An interesting parallel is the Frankish invasion of the former Roman province of Gaul. The Franks were a Germanic people, but not long after conquering Gaul and establishing the Frankish kingdom (which gave the name to France) they completely assimilated into the Latin speaking people/culture of the land.