I think you're correct. But I suspect the spur to war will be a combination of Chinese & US malfeasance.
China's one-child policy has led to tens of millions of single young Chinese men with no parallel pool of single young women. (An easy abortion policy led to the selective snuffing out of little girls since at marriage they go to their husband's family: That is, they will primarily aid their elderly in-laws, not their own parents. Wise couples tried for sons, who would support them in their old age.) All that undirected testosterone hanging around unemployed on street corners is a major source of social disruption, which the Party dare not ignore. The easiest way to use it up is to put them in the army and overseas.