Analysts speculate as to Chinese intentions, but in a sense it really does not matter what Beijing is trying to accomplish. Its conduct is simply unacceptable. Washington, however, seeks to establish “dialogue” with China’s generals, admirals, and officials as if their belligerent acts are the result of the lack of contact. It is simply ludicrous for the Obama White House to claim that the Chinese want to “strengthen cooperation” or build a “positive and constructive” relationship after engaging in such truculent behavior.
And it is wrong to suggest that incidents can be avoided in the future if we only increase the level of communication or its frequency. We have had formal and informal military relations with China for decades, and now there is even a brand new mil-to-mil hotline connecting the United States to China. So it is an attack on common sense for the Pentagon to claim that “face-to-face dialogue in Beijing and in Washington will go a long way to clearing up any misunderstanding about this incident.” The problem is not that we don’t talk to the Chinese enough or that we misunderstand them. It is that they are hostile.
The hostile Chinese? David Axe doesn't appear to think so:
One would be hard-pressed to deny China as a "legitimate peer competitor," yet I would argue that some of this legitimacy is lost when harassment is adopted as a strategic tactic. There is nothing wrong with a state wanting to mark its territory; it is the fashion by which it goes about doing so, however, that sets the tone. As the old adage goes, actions speak louder than words.