President Obama went out of his way Tuesday to deny his administration is working to â€ścontainâ€ť China, with its growing economic and military power in Asia and around the world.
The Chinese are suspicious of the presidentâ€™s Asia trip, which does not include a visit to China. It does, however, include every major economic and strategic competitor to China in the region: India, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan, all of which are Asian democracies.
Many analysts believe containment, or something close to it, is the administrationâ€™s long-term strategy. Containment was a U.S. foreign policy tool born in the Cold War, when the U.S. recruited allies in Europe and elsewhere to check the power of the Soviet Union.
â€śThe arc of Obamaâ€™s (Asia) trip has offered the suggestion that as the United States changes its strategic focus, it will shift its attention toward China,â€ť foreign policy research firm Stratfor said in a note to clients today. â€śWashington has become convinced that it needs to accelerate the process of developing regional counterweights to China.â€ť
Ahead of meetings with Chinese officials this week at the G-20 summit, the President denied his administration is trying to contain China.
â€śWe think China being prosperous and secure is a positive,â€ť he said at a press conference in Indonesia. â€śWe're not interested in containing that process. We want China to continue to achieve its development goals.â€ť
But he added, â€śWe do want to make sure that everybody is operating within an international framework and sets of rules in which countries recognize their responsibilities to each other.â€ť