Context: Nobody Knows Anything About China
It is of the nature of a science or an art of existential introspection (not to mention institutional knowledge) to seek the least-incorrect and lowest-energy, succinct model of an Object or Entity. The curiously mischievous enigma of such a psychologically-reflexive aspiration towards ordered pattern as #truth or fact – and through it, self-validation – is that the useful error and ontological opacity of even this partial image of (a) reality can only ever be, in essence, the plausible opposite of that which it seeks to represent.
The logical complement of a single thread of narrative explanation is the potential infinity of other descriptions and configurations of facts that might also describe the same Object or Entity. As a matter of statistical inevitability, there will be many other (more accurate or concise) descriptions of a reality in question, just not conforming to whichever grammatical game the normative model or theory has been filtered by.
The theory, conceptual vocabulary and philosophy with which we are left is rarely more than submissive convenience to the conventions and idioms of a particular time and place. China is no more (or less) a conspiracy of cartographers than is any other fact; we should expect to be as surprised by what emerges as should they.