You really need to pay attention to what is not said, rather than what is said.
"We do not intend to threaten any country with the modernization of our military force. I know many people tend to believe that with the wealth of China’s economy, China will be a military threat," [General Liang Guanglie] said, speaking dressed in full military uniform.
With the economic might that China wields, they do not need to threaten anyone with their military force, modernised or not. The implied threat of economic sanctions is a far better and finer tool than any military threat.
After all, invading a country means you need to run it, keep your troops there for a long period of time and you may never recover the cost, let alone make a profit.