Invoking chess planning in determining a country’s foreign policy grand strategy is a common approach as evidenced by numerous textbook covers. James Fallows of the Atlantic uses it once again to argue that China’s maneuvers in the ADIZ are not the result of some hundred year strategy, but rather, derives from other reasons:
Others note that foreign policy is usually the lowest-priority item on the Chinese leadership’s (collective) mind. What really matters in Zhongnanhai, the Communist Party’s command center, is domestic security, stability, and growth, with anything beyond that as an afterthought. By this logic, China’s foreign-policy and defense moves, far from fitting into a decades-long master plan, often seem ad-hoc at best and self-defeating at worst.
Quoting Francesco Sisci, he makes the point that “if the United States wanted to make trouble for China, it would–paradoxically–greatly pull back its military presence in Asia…” thus resulting in more erratic, aggressive, and unpredictable responses from regional nation states.