Re: ISS' swansong?
The Chinese station is small and wont be continually manned - so less than the USA/USSR were doing in the 70s.
The only point in having people in LEO is to learn how to have people in LEO, so not having any people currently there doesn't really cost you anything or give control to China. Not having a person continually on the peak of Everest doesn't take away your ability to climb Everest.
Continuing to support a LEO space station - initially intended to keep cold war rocket scientists gainfully employed when the cold war ended - as opposed to manned Mars mission seems short sighted.