To be sure, China has had a good couple of months when it comes to projecting their rising superpower status to the rest of the world. Indeed, Beijing’s military made history three times last week alone by agreeing to sell some $5 billion in subs to Pakistan, by getting set to start the country’s first nuclear submarine patrols, and by swooping in to rescue more than 200 evacuees in the embattled Yemeni port city of Aden (and risking armed conflict in the process) in what Reuters notes is “the first time that China's military has helped other countries evacuate their people during an international crisis.”
Of course the biggest coup of all was that represented by the incredible (and somewhat unlikely) success of the country’s AIIB membership drive, which concluded at the end of March and saw everyone who is anyone (country wise) put in a bid to join — everyone but the US and Japan that is.
So in the space of two short months the country has managed to put its growing military prowess on display while simultaneously upending the post World War II economic order by threatening its most entrenched multilateral institutions from which they are now looking to hire — not too bad.
Meanwhile Washington was busy doing what Washington does when it comes to foreign policy: propping up one puppet government (in Ukraine) both financially and militarily while simultaneously switching on the damage control after a previously propped up puppet regime (in Yemen) was overthrown, bombing groups of marauding Middle Eastern militants (who may or may not have been trained by the CIA at one time or another) from the stratosphere, and explaining to the rest of the world how dangerous Vladimir Putin (still) is.
And we forgot to mention: conducting ridiculously transparent campaigns to undermine Chinese ambition. Here’s Reuters:
President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States is concerned China uses its "sheer size and muscle" to push around smaller countries in the South China Sea.
His comments come after China defended its construction of artificial islands in the SouthChina Sea, saying it is needed to safeguard its sovereignty in the mineral-rich waters where China's territorial claims overlap those of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
"Where we get concerned with China is where it is not necessarily abiding by international norms and rules and is using its sheer size and muscle to force countries into subordinate positions," Obama told town-hall event in Jamaica ahead of a Caribbean summit in Panama, where he hopes to reassert U.S. leadership in Latin America.
"We think this can be solved diplomatically, but just because the Philippines or Vietnam are not as large as China doesn't mean that they can just be elbowed aside."
Yes, using “size and muscle to force other countries into subordinate positions,” something the US would never do and never has done. Well, besides when Washington does things like bully nations with no standing army into supporting a unilateral invasion of a sovereign country under false pretenses and then, to add insult to injury, has the almost inconceivable nerve to call the cobbled together support group a “coalition of the willing.”
This is truly the definition of irony.