Or at least, can China restrain the U.S. from doing more damage in East Asia and perhaps elsewhere in the developing world?
Last week Obama went to Beijing for the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit as the representative of the West and its centuries old grand project in East Asia. And what has that project been? History tells us that the West with its missionaries and soldiers, Obama's predecessors, bathed the region in suffering and bloodshed. A short and incomplete list includes: the Opium Wars on China, the war on the Philippines, the nuclear bombing of Japan, the Korean and Vietnam wars, the bombings that laid waste Laos and Cambodia, the bloody CIA coup in Indonesia, and the military assault on the Korean movement to overthrow the Park dictatorship.
And that thumbnail history merely recounts the Anglo-American contribution to the European rape of East Asia. For centuries, every two bit Western European power with a little bit of advanced military technology was in on the plunder in the Western Pacific.
Obama went to East Asia to say in essence: "We are not finished yet. The Indispensable Nation must dominate everywhere. We departed when the Vietnamese humiliated us and drove us from the neighborhood. But we are back. We are pivoting."