In recent years, scholarship examining US and security allies’ responses to China's rapidly growing power and “assertive” policies towards its neighbours has proliferated. The English-language literature remains relatively one-sided, however. Crucial to understanding the complex forces driving strategic competition in the contemporary Asia-Pacific are comprehensive surveys of how Chinese views are evolving. This study draws extensively on Chinese sources to update existing scholarship, much of it two decades old, with a particular focus on recent Chinese reactions to major developments concerning the US-centred alliance system – a foundational element of the 65-year-old regional order. Beijing expresses deepening frustration towards, and even open opposition to, recent alliance strengthening, and instead champions alternative security architectures free of what it alleges to be “exclusive,” “zero-sum,” “Cold-war relic” US-centred alliances. Proposals for concrete pathways to operationalizing these abstract visions that take into account contemporary political and security realities (for example, North Korea), however, appear less forthcoming.