Are we witnessing the end of the “American age”? It depends whom you ask. But one thing is certain: Thanks to the near-bankruptcy of the American welfare state, Washington is losing both the means and desire to project power across the world. Inevitably, nations with deeper pockets — China, most notably — will fill the void.
This process already is underway in many parts of the world. That includes large swathes of Central Asia, where Beijing’s billions are beginning to revolutionize regional infrastructure and alliances — in dazzling but potentially dangerous ways.
Analyzing Beijing’s foreign policy is a relatively simple exercise. That’s because, unlike the United States and other Western nations, China doesn’t even pretend to operate on any other principle except naked self-interest.
On one hand, China has courted Israel as a partner in developing Mediterranean gas fields — but it also has been happy to do…
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