For over a decade, American strategic thinking has focused on China's emergence as a great power in East Asia. Such thinking is passé. China already is East Asia's great power.
While America has struggled in Iraq this year, China has spent it on a diplomatic goodwill offensive in Asia. The result? In October, one day after President George W. Bush was booed in Australia's parliament, Chinese President Hu Jintao received a standing ovation from the same parliamentarians. China's emergence as Asia's dominant power, and the overall regional balance of power, are now matters that governments across the Pacific must reckon with carefully.