America's government has finally cracked the code on China. They know how to get under China's skin. They had an idea before, but the algorithm—the precise frequency of activation—needed fine-tuning. And, of course, China made it all too easy to know that the code had been cracked. The sale of 60 F-16V's to Taiwan—inferior in both number and, supposedly, technology—wasn't even made official. Still, China couldn't wait to announce to the world exactly the kind of insignificance that it found irritating above all previous attempts.
With this new and tested knowledge, we can expect the US to do more, and to do so more subtly. America will stand calmly, smiling. China will fume more every day, seemingly for no reason. At last, the Chinese will be so overwhelmed with rage that they will strike before military wisdom advises.
The sad, but poetic, part is that no warnings, not even reading this article, not even a spy exposing some kind of "provocation plot" or whatnot would be able to deter China from this fate. For, China loves respect above all else. Those who hunger for respect are easy to provoke and anyone provoked is under complete control of the provocateur. And, Chinese culture doesn't know how to change or even listen.
But, there is another factor that blinded China to the American tactics. A nation with a one-child policy won't have as much experience in sibling rivalry. America doesn't have such a policy. Americans learn from childhood how to get under some else's skin—especially when that someone else is the known playground bully who needs to be provoked to a brawl and sent to the principle's office before getting any older, and bigger.
The die has been cast. The fate of the American-Chinese war has already been determined: China strikes; China loses; China loses more. Now, it's just a matter of watching how the specifics play out on our road to the foreseen.