Thomas Barnett waxes incredulous:
This is the state of our discussion: the world's biggest and by-far strongest military regularly getting up into the grill of the second-biggest economy on the planet and letting it know--in no uncertain terms--that it will not countenance China exercising military power in its own region! Why? Despite being intensely overdrawn militarily around the planet and facing military resource shortages in the very same regions where Chinese economic interests are skyrocketing, it's in our best interest to deny China's rise with all our might. Safely buttressed by the vast security resources of our NATO allies, it's clear that we don't need any new friends and--instead--must do everything possible to deny their emergence, because more Chinese security means less U.S. security; it is a completely zero-sum game.
Brilliant stuff. I can't imagine why the Chinese look upon us as anything but the best of friends. I am flabbergasted at our naivete in hoping for something better to emerge.
The U.S. position toward China does seem to swerve between patronizing platitudes (they'll be a "stakeholder") and wary hedging.