Two hostesses are rivals in a popularity contest throughout the social season. When they hold soirees on the same night invitees must choose which one to go to. The hostesses guard their social ranking jealously, and may even punish a guest who goes to the rival’s party by withholding an invitation next time. To read about the roles of China and the US over the last month, one would think that Asia/Pacific relations are a zero-sum game like that of these two hostesses in some fictional time and place. Are countries signing up for China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank? Or for America’s Trans Pacific Partnership? Will China’s currency be admitted to the SDR club, or will it be kept humiliatingly waiting at the entrance? Is the United States still number one globally in economic size, or did China pass it in 2014?
Frankel, Jeffrey A. "Asia Games Are Not a Zero-Sum." Project Syndicate, April 23, 2015.