With not a single thread of evidence to back up my logic, but I have a feeling that United States’ allies such as Japan are thinking about getting closer to China. At first, for an example, Japan would probably pretend to be against China, and Japan wants to use China as a ploy to break free from the United States. Thus Japan probably wants to boost its own military programs and break free from pacifying position. Once Japan completes this step, it would want to befriend China, and United States would probably be too hesitant to aggravate a stronger Japan.
I think as China grows stronger and more influential, United States’ allies would use Beijing as a hedge against the United States in trades, deals, bargains, and etc…
What can the United States do? Unless the United States wants to start a trade war and hot war with China, there isn’t much the United States can do to change allied countries’ trajectories. I fear such trajectories are all about getting closer to China. After all, China got the largest middle-class market in the world. With hefty foreign exchange reserves in trillions of dollars and a growing military power to back China’s overall growing strength, China isn’t going to be bullied by the United States. United States’ allies know this too, and so they would try to be nice to China just in case they are on the wrong side of the United States.
In conclusion, I don’t think the United States can be too nice to allied countries because these countries are still going to use China as a hedge. Being too mean to allies, the United States would lose such allies. Be too tough on China, the United States would force allied countries to choose a side, and they may choose China over the United States. As long China is humming along in growing strength, I don’t see how easily the United States could contain China. Of course, nothing would go as plan, and so China may face a difficult future, and that is when the United States could try to contain China. The question is, how far the United States would want to contain China, because doing it wrong may as well starting a WWIII.
After WWIII, long live sticks and stones!
Maybe, here is a preview of how Japan is getting closer to China. https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/c53528a3-d7ae-3e05-9851-6dc8daefac8c/ss_pm-abe-celebrates-anniversary.html