It's impossible to ‘know.’ So it's all the more important to continue to ask.
I lived & worked for three years in Cairo, Egypt, and for three years in Accra, Ghana. I understand what it means to live among someone other than Americans in a foreign land, and I understand completely what you are saying about the stereotypes far too many Americans apply to virtually any tribe or nation other than the one to which they belong. But one of the most important things I learned about this I learned in Cairo.
I was there from 2012 to 2015, so I witnessed the rebuilding of the government after the overthrow of Mubarak. When Morsi won the election in the summer of 2012, Egyptians who didn't like Morsi told me he had been "installed" by the Obama administration - and they had irrefutable proof. When Morsi was removed from office by the military a year later, ostensibly due to massive public pressure, Egyptians who wanted Morsi to stay in power said that the Obama administration had orchestrated the coup that overthrew the Morsi presidency - and of course they had irrefutable proof.
The lesson for me was simple: the US was the favorite scapegoat of many Egyptians who objected to what was happening inside their own country. It was easy to blame the evil happenings on America, because no matter the accusation, there were always plenty of Egyptians who were happy to believe it. And that leads us to the problems you speak of regarding China: no matter what happens in the US, we can blame it on China, or Russia, or someone - and sure enough, we will always find plenty of people who will nod their heads in agreement.
The most difficult thing to do is for us to recognize our own errors and work to correct them. This is true on an individual and a national level. It's so much easier to find a scapegoat, to paint a portrait of that scapegoat as the epitome of evil, and proudly declare that if not for that scapegoat, all would be well.
And of course there will always be plenty of people eager to support that view.
Sorry to sound like a broken record, but I really respect your perspective and basically am always interested in what you have to say. To me this is excellent journalism. It is not biased, it does not try to draw our conclusions for us and I came away feeling like it has changed and opened up my perspective on the complex subject of China. Thank you.