China under President Xi is finding it easy to give the U.S. under President Obama a swift boot in the rear.


Chinese President Xi Jinping has succeeded in gaining more power than any Chinese leader has had since that nation suffered the upheavals of the 1970s. His success in doing so is attributable to Barack Obama and Sun Tzu.

To say that eight years of Obama’s — and Hillary Clinton’s — foreign policy has left power vacuums around the world is a rather important cliché. China, under Xi, is one of the two powers most eager to fill them, the other being Putin’s Russia. Putin is more impatient than Xi, seizing the Crimea and a good chunk of Ukraine, venturing into Syria, in partnership with Iran, to ensure the survival of Assad’s terrorist regime.

Xi is more patient, clearly more successful and less eager to show off before the news cameras. He’s satisfied with building China’s enormous military to achieve greater capabilities and to install the ability to speed-lace the South China Sea. As Sun Tzu wrote about 2300 years ago, the greatest general is he who can win the battle without fighting. That’s the strategy behind Xi’s ability to fill the vacuum left by Obama.

Speed-Lacing the South China Sea