No it can't. It can project power else where because the other countries are concerned about their own problem rather than hitting them back. Of course hitting them back would require economy & military capability too.The continental USA is secure, because it only has 2 small weak countries as neighbours.
That means the USA has spare resources for power projection elsewhere.
Anyone who has lived through nightmare of wars, which we are pretty familiar given this entire region has gone through that, And familiar
with US's history, how it came to be, should know where the fault line with US lies.
As the corona virus & BLM protests shows, US never solved the very basic of problems. Same country which claims to be value champ.
Second world war gave US the perfect cover up for their history, after that every country focused to grow from zero. US became a "super power" because there was no other power left. So no one talked about it anymore. But US never really could galvanize those fault lines
To expose those fault lines, you don't really need to go to US or close to it, all you need to do is breathing down on it's neck. It needs pretty big space to feel safe.
I have several time mentioned before, China should extensively look into Hawaii, Guam & SPECIALLY south american countries.
With US, and it's utopian value loving population, how long do you think it will survive with out USD being the reserve currency? In a country where people get paid for making adult movies, doing cam shows? I am predicting 10 years, at best.
Do you know what happens when rich dad stops giving his spoilt son everything? He turns onto his own dad. That's the thing US fears most, so it needs to keep it's spoilt population "happy" by keeping the trouble as far as away from it's mainland.
If a single George floyd can do this to the wannabe Disneyland, can you imagine what can happen if another kent state saga takes place?
US is a gigantic robot standing on murky water, you don't need to target the robot.
I have been watching China's response to different US's accusation as US is trying to be value champ after miserable corona-virus failure. China still can't let go of the habit of taking down lying. US wants you on defensive. They don't like it when someone points finger at them, they get insecure. To cover that up, they try to project power.
I am not asking to start a war. But china should go extensive length in information warfare . Current generation is very sensitive to "invasion" histories. China should start talking about How native people of North America became white, how Great Abraham Lincoln "freed" the slaves from south, however he forgot that "Freeing" slaves doesn't guarantee property rights, as they invaded & occupied south, Hawaii, Guam, how US military was innocently testing chemical weapon on Los Angeles & i didn't even set foot in modern history yet.
You need to target them where they are most sensitive. I have been playing Americans with these, its funny how notoriously they react to it. For exaple, just yesterday in a forum they were talking about the "china virus" & making china pay. I just asked them when they are going to pay for the "American swine". Rest was history.
The US is far more paranoid than it chooses to show, specially about it's history.They are going to poke you as long as you don't slap them back in their place. For that, you neither require economy, nor military. Only history lessons.
People in US of A have been trying to desperately hang to to their utopian values. Well i don't really care about their values or what they choose to do with it. I am more interested in the land, as i am "very very concerned" about the human rights of native peoples as much as i am "very very concerned" about "Texas invasion". You should learn how to use history & words to your advantage.
What China should show to the world is, The U.S is not of A. It never was. It never had anything to do with America,no matter how much they try to be "American".
You would be surprised how word games can impact people & their view.