June 6, 2012
"US 1, China 0." This was the unofficial headline coming out of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore this past weekend. One would be tempted to add a more provocative sub-headline: "China fades away as America rebalances toward Asia." Of course, no one would use such a headline. But imagine what the headline would have been if Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta had not attended this year’s International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) gathering and Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie had showed up, instead of the reverse. This would have surely been portrayed as evidence of America’s decline.