Although China and the U.S. are strategic competitors, there are common interests, complementary interests and, of course, conflicting interests between them. Such complexity provides the two countries the room for active cooperation when interests converge and a degree of preventive cooperation where interests conflict.
President Barack Obama's vacation schedule reflected the reality of this holiday season in which Christmas and New Year's Day each fell upon a Wednesday, with long weekends bleeding into long weekends. Now he's back and so is the working new year, at last functionally upon us, which will be odd and intriguing.
So Obama, beset by other problems, is heading out to the Asia-Pacific again on a big trip in April. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, not nearly as identified with the Asia-Pacific Pivot as predecessor Tom Donilon, made the announcement in a speech Wednesday at Georgetown University reaffirming the country's commitment to the Pivot.
The federal government shutdown debacle finally ended, but its effects live on. In this case, continuing to effect America's Asia-Pacific pivot, our big geopolitical shift from fateful over-engagement with the Islamic world of the Middle East and Central Asia to heightened engagement with the rising Asia-Pacific.