In an audacious swoop, China has beaten off rivals from the US, Canada and Russia to secure a US$4 billion copper project in Afghanistan, leaving India to build hospitals and schools. And this week, China Petroleum Corporation sealed a $2 billion oil and gas development project in Iran, just as Delhi - at Washington's bidding - slapped banking restrictions on Tehran. By hitching its colors to the US-Israeli bandwagon, India is now paying the price for overlooking the reality that Iran is the only really viable regional power in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.When you piss all over diplomacy, this is what you get. Nothing and a broken big stick.
So... is bombing Iran still on the table because of this?
Update. Notice a theme?:
China has emerged as a leading and growing buyer of US debt, notably bonds linked to the troubled American housing market.This will obviously be the century of China as the main superpower.
On the back of a business-first foreign policy, China is rapidly supplanting Europe as Africa's major trade and development partner. It is an intriguing geopolitical alliance between the world's fastest-expanding economy and the most impoverished continent. Meanwhile, the EU squirms as Beijing's non-interference policy ignores its lofty plans for good governance and sustainability.
A cultural shift is taking place in easternmost Russia, and it's not what Moscow fears. It's not the massive influx of unwanted Chinese long predicted in the press, but a more subtle and unexpected "Sino-ization" of ethnic Russians who are increasingly turning towards China as a land of tolerance and opportunity.