I'm not that interested in debating a correlation of a statement made by an academic on Zoom, although I did find it an interesting simile.The PRC has the resources it needs to sustain itself in most respects and has several commodities which are in great demand outside, so in that respect it's not resource poor. It's certainly nowhere near as dependent on outside sources as pre-war (or indeed present day) Japan and can fall back on its own supplies to a far greater extent. That means resources are not a matter of national survival in the same way, which is why I believe the motivations behind Japan's actions of the time are not present in the PRC. For one thing, Japan's actions were to try to seize resources on the Chinese mainland - 'the lifeline in Asia' - whereas the PRC already has them.
Actually, domestic demand makes up a higher proportion of GDP than export does and if external demand from trade goes down then logically so will internal demand for raw and unfinished material imports. That's again not a matter of survival in the same way that pre-war Japan had to e.g. secure rubber and oil or collapse back to an agrarian economy.
I think their current strategy with regard to 'the west' and in particular the various trade blocks within it shows that they understand divide and rule very well.
However, I very much stand by MY comments in relation to the contemporary relationship's China has/will have with the 'West' post CV19. AU is a good early example of a nation suddenly waking up to a emerging public debate around China's subversion of its sovereignty; VIC and Port Darwin at the top of the list. Despite trying to play a longer game, the UK is now starting to take notice of this wider debate. Divide and rule takes time, and the Chinese have played a blinder pre CV19. However, the situation has fundamentally changed post CV19. Bad Panda is now out in the open and 'West' will attempt to fix him there, whilst it get's its act together.
It will be interesting to see what comes out of Camp David in the coming weeks, now the Big Orange one has called a pow wow, No?