A tale of two countries: some years ago China and the U.S. were traveling down the same road, with America in the lead, when they came to a fork in the road. The U.S., saw the sign marked "military dominance", and rushed down the left branch. China, after studying both options, traveled down the right branch marked "Economic supremacy."
This tale accurately describes how China and America are rapidly heading in totally opposite directions, with two different objectives and two distinctly different strategies. China is using its resources to become the world's #1 economic power while those of the U.S. remain largely concentrated on remaining the world's military superpower.
What we have here is a growing confrontation between these two world powers and their opposite philosophies in critically important regions of the world, specifically, Eurasia and Central and South Asia. Now while this would appear to be a struggle for supremacy between China and the U.S. recent events are making it very clear that far more is involved.
There is another player in this geopolitical chess game. Russia has now joined with China, thus forming a very powerful alliance to resist the U.S.'s intentions in this resource rich region of the world. Either one of these countries would present the U.S. with a formidable challenge to achieving its objectives but, together, they could be considered an immovable obstacle.
If we think more deeply about what is going on and how this situation has reached this tenuous point, the reasons become quite clear. For some time now the U.S. has been attempting, with its NATO partners, to encircle Russia with its military power. And more recently it has also decided to follow that same strategy relative to China when President Obama initiated his Asian Pivot to begin the process of encircling China with military power. Good luck with that.
Just recently, reacting to the mounting influence of the U.S. in Ukraine affairs, Russia's President Putin, without causing any military confrontation, greatly strengthened his country's alliance with Crimea and, thereby, assured Russia's continuing control over its strategic naval base at Sebastopol, as well as its access to the Black Sea and beyond. While this clever chess move was being made the U.S. and NATO could only stand by and watch.
So while the U.S. pursues its objective of encircling China and Russia with military power those two adversaries are reacting to these moves with their own counter-strategy, that is, encircling the U.S. interests across Eurasia and Central Asia with their growing economic power. They have no intention of challenging America with military power because they are not about to ignite a world war but they are doing it with the force of their economic power that they strongly believe is a far better strategy.