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09/13/2011 11:40 am ET | Updated Nov 13, 2011

Asia's New Great Game

When geography changes -- as when the Suez Canal joined Europe to the Indian Ocean, or when the railroads transformed the American West and the Russian East -- old patterns of contact disappear and new ones take hold, turning strangers into neighbors and transforming backwaters into zones of new strategic significance. Entire groups decline or vanish; others rise in importance.

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