The U.S. chose a policy that could be called "integrate and insure." China was welcomed into the World Trade Organization, but the U.S.-Japan security treaty was revived to insure against China becoming a bully. If a rising China throws its weight around, it drives neighbors to seek to balance its power. In that sense, only China can contain China.
The US and China are engaged in a dance of global partnership in which the two tightly embrace or wriggle warily in tandem at a distance, depending on the background music. At the same time, where there is overlap in the perceived spheres of influence, the music stops and the two countries argue over who calls the tune.
Having studied in both Korea and the U.S., we do not find much to admire about the Korean education system. For all its faults, the "liberal" American system cultivates initiative and ingenuity like no other, a fact which might explain why the U.S. still leads the world in technological and cultural innovation.
China's efforts to enhance its influence as a rising power in an assertive way will backfire and result in an unintended encirclement of China by her neighbors. The irony is that this 'security dilemma' was exactly what happened in Europe when Kaiser Wilhelm II, confident of rising power of Germany, began to practice a muscular diplomacy in1890.
Just in case anyone was in doubt of his intentions, Shinzo Abe made a high-profile visit to Yasukuni Shrine in December, the first time for a Japanese prime minister in seven years. The real reason for Abe's visit, which elicited predictable outrage from Korea and China, was that he felt that he could get away with it.