Strategic Gaming? United States and China

The New York Times International, Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Smiles and Barbs for Clinton in China, by Steven Lee Myers and Jane Perlez

BEIJING–“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived here on Tuesday night to a barrage of unusually harsh coverage in China’s official news media over what they called American meddling in territorial disputes in the region–and then a strikingly warm welcome from the country’s foreign minister…

The sharpness stemmed from tensions over China’s increasingly assertive claims in maritime disputes with other nations in the region, and it echoed a feeling shared by many in both countries that the United States and China are locked in a competition for dominance in the region and beyond.

‘We are committed to building a cooperative partnership with China,’ Mrs. Clinton said… It is a key aspect of our rebalancing in the Asia-Pacific.’  The Obama administration’s renewed focus on Asia has been unfavorably interpreted in some quarters here as an effort to contain China.  China is wary of American moves in the area–including an increase in military personnel an material in Australia and the Philippines.

‘For the United States, the South China Sea is not a matter of territorial disputes,’ said Wu Xinbo, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. ‘It’s an issue of strategic gaming.  The United States is concerned about China’s naval growth.”

Gaming in the South China Sea by China and the U.S.  However, there are other countries involved, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN.  The Philippines, Brunei and Vietnam, members of ASEAN, have competing claims.  Who is gaming whom ?  Is this a high stakes poker game?  Strategic gaming?  

Gaming is a verb made from the noun, game.  We all play games of one sort or other.  Diplomatic games have higher stakes.

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