Trump’s over-the-top response to these provocations may be more theatre in the spirit of the exchange, or it may be a prelude to a full blown war with China. (The exchanges would not be valuable if their meaning wasn’t subject to multiple interpretations.) The latter, however, is unlikely.
Highly unlikely, in my view.
I recall having coffee on morning with an American who, although not a diplomat…….had lived some 20 years in China in a nonbusiness position where they had to deal with politicians on a regular basis. He threw out a quote I will always remember:
The only way China would get into a war with the US is if they could sell the US all the bullets and the US agreed to kill off a third of their excess population.
As for the rest, we are in complete agreement.