It appears that the Dragon is thinking that the United States and other countries are ganging up on it, and that it is no fault of its own that this is happening.This, combined with Arthur Chrenkoff's "Great Power Deprivation Syndrome" meme, go a long way toward explaining the lashing out that have been emanating from Beijing at increasing rates over the past several years.
Among history nuts, the debate is probably going to be one of which analogy would be the best model: Japan before the Pacific War; or pre-1914 Germany, which despite its Anglophile sentiments, was also motivated by jealousy of a scrappy little island nation's ability to garner so much of the glory while the mighty Second Reich should be confined to the European mainland. As an aside, Catherine Liu compares 2005 China to Nazi Germany before the Second World War, in particular with an eye to its indulgence in victimology. Which, some would note, is a symptom of passive aggression.
[Cross-posted at Between Worlds]