But to get China looking north to Asia for oil supplies, perhaps we should try to encourage oil pipelines throughPakistan to Iran and through Central Asia to the Caspian Sea region. If China gets oil through this route, paying for a navy with no task other than taking Taiwan may not make as much sense as it did when the navy was needed for oil supply security too. This could suck China into Asia and perhaps make the Europeans nervous enough about the Chinese coming up a new silk road that Europe will feel they need America again as an ally.
The Dignified Rant has an excellent post advocating the commencement of a "Great Game" approach to China. Chinese nationalists, of course, have long accused America of implementing a containment strategy, but, as Brian makes clear,the measures to date have been more defensive than proactive in nature. The centrality of the oil resource is a thread running through all of these considerations. It seems perfectly mad that China would be building a blue-water navy thinking that they would be able to secure the entire oil route from the Middle East, but it appears that is precisely what is going on. Needless to say, the best way to keep that line secure would be to commit to being a good citizen in the international order that is already in place to secure those supplies to countries like Japan and Korea. Only if they were planning attacks on their neighbors would that not be an adequate strategy.