Is there an opportunity for the United States to counter Chinas rise?
The conventional, journalistic narrative is missing that this has been going on for years. But they don’t get noticed by the journalists until the secretary of state takes a trip and suddenly people write about it as if the administration has suddenly realized how to counter China. If you put that childishness aside, there’s been a steady concern in the region about China. People are not rejecting China in East Asia or in Southeast Asia—Korea depends upon it as a major production platform; Japan would not be able to pay its citizens their high wages and retirement packages if they didn’t have a lot of factories producing very profitably in China; Taiwan is growing closer to China economically if not politically; and in Southeast Asia, there are very intense trade and tourism relationships. So it’s not a simple preference for the United States or for China. It’s an effort on the part of the countries around China to be able to look over their shoulder and see a comforting Uncle Sam and