Goes without saying that it may all be posturing. But consider this: for an adversary like China, posturing is (at least) half the game. Beijing has elevated H&D and face-saving to the level of diplomatic hard currency... throwing a hissy fit because Trump spoke to the Taiwanese president, or because Botswana hosted the Dalai Lama, is how low they have set the bar for taking offence.
What is noteworthy is this: a low bar for taking offence also means a low *real* cost for giving offence, making it easier if one's objective is to deliberately give offence and show disrespect.
For example, if you say: don't raise your fist to strike me, or I'll hit you. That is a pretty high bar for taking offence on your part. Most people would think it reasonable. Also, they would feel comfortable with the idea that as long as they don't raise their fist to strike you, you will be cool.
Now supposing I deliberately *wanted* to offend you. If so, your statement has made offending you a high-risk proposition for me, no? I mean, If I wanted to provoke you I would have to walk to within striking distance of you and raise my fist. Then I am close enough to you to hit you, but I am also close enough to you for you to hit me.
But supposing you say: don't cast a shadow on me, or I'll hit you. That is a very low bar for taking offence on your part... so those who are easily intimidated may get very nervous about letting their shadows fall upon you.
But if I deliberately *wanted* to offend you I can do that with relatively low risk. I can stand far away from you, at any point between you and a light source. And just by letting my shadow fall on you, I am calling your bluff, deliberately insulting you in public, AND demonstrating that you can't do $hit about it. After all I could be ten metres away from you. You have to come running towards me to attack me. This gives me all the initiative I need to deal with you as preferred: run away, or find something to throw at you, or get into a defensive posture with plenty of time to meet your advance.
So: when a country puts on airs as "the Middle Kingdom" by flaunting a chip on its shoulder and daring others to knock it off, it is easy (and low-risk) to expose them as a Middle Donkey in reality.
This is what the USA has discovered. It is psyopping the cr@p out of the Cheenis by crossing all the "Led Lines of Lespect" by which the PRC has always demanded Washington treat them.
Here is an article by no less than Senator Ted Cruz, a Presidential Candidate and current Senator from Texas, in today's WaPo.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions ... 383f686a9a
However, simply defending against North Korean projectiles is insufficient. We must also deprive Pyongyang of the resources it directs to its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Unfortunately, during the Obama administration, the White House was more interested in securing a climate deal with China than enforcing sanctions against Pyongyang.
President Trump is right when he says that China holds unique sway over North Korea. Beijing is effectively its only real trading partner, and the illicit network that finances North Korea’s atomic pursuits runs through Chinese banks and companies.
I applaud the Treasury Department for recently designating the Bank of Dandong as a primary money laundering concern; now is the time to take further action against other key violators that bankroll the North Korean mafia state, including Bank of China. U.N. reports, Justice Department documents and nongovernmental organization research have proved that Kim depends on the U.S. financial system to pay his elites, generals, security forces and soldiers. We must, through our financial regulations, compel U.S. banks with correspondent accounts linked to North Korean entities to begin mapping out the complex financial web of beneficial ownership that Pyongyang obscures with Chinese assistance.