Guy Dinmore, Anna Fifield and Victor Mallet: The rivals: Washington’s sway in Asia is challenged by China

From The Financial Times:

The Asia that Condoleezza Rice is surveying this week on her first trip to the region as USsecretary of state is changing so quickly that judgments on regional politics risk being outdated as soon as they are made. But Asian and US observers can agree on two things without fear of contradiction: Chinese power is on the rise, and the US, although the world’s only superpower, is in danger of losing its grip as the unchallenged arbiter of Asian security.

Nearly four years ago, the overthrow of the Islamist Taliban regime in Afghanistan gave the US a bridgehead in previously hostile territory in central Asia. But since then President George W. Bush has paid the diplomatic price in Asia for focusing almost exclusively on Iraq and the Middle East.

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