Social status is delusion. China is only "challenging" America's unrealistic self-perceptions.
China doesn't even have a border with America, let alone a land border, let alone some kind of nuclear-deterrent-deterrent. It cannot invade. America can remain as American as it wants and doing American things indefinitely, regardless of what China does.
Except, of course, seeing American exceptionalism. In other words, it may have to stop feeding its Prideful ego. Luckily, ego is economically irrelevant. Production lines don't have an ego factor in their maintenance costs. Not to mention geopolitically irrelevant.
Indeed ego is costly. If anything there's a negative factor.
China's "challenge" for America is a game for propagandists and the gullible audience mired in meaningless knee-jerk reflexes. It has nothing to do with real history whatsoever.
Perhaps some American State flunkies, with nothing better to do, will challenge China to some pissing matches now and again. This will be a sideshow at best. Even if they lose 100% nobody will care. It won't even affect the ongoing propaganda.
But perhaps I've overlooked something.
Fundamentally America has colonized the entire world. China is "challenging" America the way America "challenged" Georgian Britain.
America tells us that China "challenging" them is a terrible wrong and it's worth pulling out all the stop to ensure they lose.
Perhaps we should take America at its word on this? Such "challenges" are very evil. If you say so, America.