Olympic Opening Ceremony

I just finished watching the Olympic opening ceremony (I know a bit late).
And it kinda scared me.

Isn't this the most populous country on the planet?
Isn't this the country that kept outsiders out for thousands of years?
 So why are they trying to come across as a upcoming country on the world front?

I have below a list of the things that stood out to me when I watched it, I might flush them out, I might just leave it up to you to figure out what I meant...

The country's national anthem is called The March of the Volunteers;
          I was under the impression that China was a dictatorship.

The drummers were told to smile so they would not be so intimidating;
          It was still somewhat overwhelming, scary and disconcerting.

The reporters said that the footprint fireworks were, "Almost cinematic."
          Enough other places have already covered this issue.

The soldiers carrying the flag goose-stepped;
          I don't care if that's the way they've always done it, that's to much of a reminder of World War Two.

The Chinese character of harmony was repeated a lot;
          The reported said this represented the problems with China had with nature and natural disasters.

They symbolically replaced the Great Wall of China with tulips;

15000 performers, none of whom repeated.
          "Well, we have the people." (In forced labor and oppression {sorry})

The little kids seemed to be having fun.

The whole bloody thing is propaganda.
          From the Tulips to the "harmony with nature."
          Propaganda for their people and for the rest of the world.

When the camera passed Hugo Shavez, the reporters said he enjoys "tweaking" other countries especially the US.

It was really cool to see so many different races in the US march.

The US was giving the Chinese lining the track high fives.
          That was cool.

P.S. I'm surprised the reporters didn't mention that the chinese invented fireworks.
P.S.S. The closing fireworks were incredible.
P.P.S.S. The picture is from Boston.com/bigpicture/ and there are a bunch more worth checking out.