Well, the fact is the first guy is doing exactly same thing. No one is innocent here.It's basically just a hard bargain really; trying to take as much as they can for themselves, while highlighting that they do not want to fight. It's like the situation where someone is sitting on a park bench and the person sitting beside keeps inching towards the other guy while talking sweetly. It goes to a point that the first guy just gets up and walks off or is forced to punch the creep.
Well, you can say the same things about every country in this world. Everyone is getting a lot of internal troubles on their hand.Weird analogy but it holds true for the CCP. They do not want a direct confrontation as they are currently on the hit list of all western powers and the fact that there is enough internal turmoil within China. Lockdowns, food hoarding, experiments going wrong, people protesting, alleged failing health of Emperor Xi, etc.. This means the CCP is not in a position to take a hostile outward stance against everyone. The last thing they want is for a troubled world to forget Russia and re-focus back on CCP.
The "secret" is India has been doing that for a long long time.Unless and until we respond in kind, this salami-slicing and hot-and-cold policy will continue.