How do you even count to arrive at an absurd conclusion like that?
I mean, sure you can count US and their client states as being allies in 1970. But you see how that turned out once the mutual goal of putting the USSR out of its misery was finished. Those were not true allies by any stretch of the word.
Nowadays China has Russia, Belarus, Pakistan, Iran as its core autonomous allies and NK as a client state. That might not be a huge list, but Russia was the grand prize of the cold war and comes with 5-6 thousand nukes plus territory bigger than the EU. How is having them under China's thumb any worse than in the late 1970s when China's only major autonomous ally was USA, which China was a junior partner to???
Today, China's bloc has already surpassed what the USSR had in output, territory, population and economy, by a lot, even during its peak. Even if China needs to progressively tie its bloc closer, this is still the largest the socialist world has ever been.
China should always look to expanding its architecture in size, but I don't think this is anywhere as close to a priority compared to expanding in quality. First, they need to get rid of corruption and inefficiency in the projects they're already managing before finding new projects. That means tightening ideological adherence, helping them purge the useless within their local politics. Russia and NK are the ideal candidates for that.
Better to have just a handful of countries as well developed as China itself than spread thin trying to influence a lot of stuff at once and end up owning a bunch of shitty rebel groups.