From National Interest:
China, China, China. It started with North Korea. It soon spread to Darfur. Now we need China for Burma. The Congo will probably be next. China has become the newest dues ex machina of international politics. In daytime it consorts with the forces of evil. At night, after pleadings from the world, China whispers in the ears of the malefactors: Behave yourself and you will benefit. Be more careful in publicly handling your people. Get those first worlders off your back (and ours too).
Despite its poverty, China is increasingly the go-to power. It has relations with everyone (Taiwan excepted), trades with everyone, and is prepared to finance everyone from Tuvalu to Chad. Supposedly, only China can make things happen in a whole bunch of countries. And everyone from the Wall Street Journal to NGOs to Hollywood superstars are enthralled by China’s power and influence and expect it to fix long unresolved problems. [Full Text]
Morton Abramowitz is a senior fellow at the Century Foundation and former president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.