US plants a stake at China's door

Peter Lee | Oct 22 | Asia Times

In recent weeks, China and the United States have both issued white papers outlining their visions of the world and Asian order. The Chinese version – its “White Paper on Peaceful Development” – set out a rosy vision of peace and prosperity driven by economic development. [1]

However, aggressive state capitalism is not a panacea for China or the world, a fact that China’s leadership may be ignoring at their peril.

The US version – in the form of a lengthy piece, “America’s Pacific Century,” published in Foreign Policy magazine under Hillary Clinton’s name – is a misguided exercise in agenda-setting that may have even more serious long-term consequences. [2]

Its true message, if anyone still had any doubts, is that the short-lived “G2” romance at the beginning of the Obama administration – the hopeful idea that China would serve as America’s favored Class 1 interlocutor on matters of global importance, instead of a distrusted adversary – is dead and buried in the US diplomatic graveyard, next to Iranian rapprochement.

Instead, it looks like rivalry with China is meant to serve as the raison d’etre of US diplomacy in Asia.

The theme of the Clinton article is the “strategic pivot” from the Middle East to East Asia. In other words, as the United States government sheds the incubus of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it will devote the majority of its energy and focus to East Asia.

A less flattering alternative explanation is that the US has shot its geopolitical bolt in the Middle East, and increasingly assertive governments in Tel Aviv, Riyadh, and Cairo are less interested in following the US tune.

Asia on the other hand, offers a more welcoming environment: one big and rather menacing country, China, and a lot of smaller countries interested in a US counterweight.more at link

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