© Kim Kyung-Hoon / Reuters
Obama's much-hyped "pivot to Asia" seems to be going smoothly: China has now warned that the Asia-Pacific risks becoming a "second Middle East" if the US continues its policy of encroachment in the region. How delightful.

Beijing's warning came after Washington inked a new deal with Manila which will allow American military forces access to disputed areas of the South China Sea. Considering that Beijing previously threatened war if the US "continued to make a fool of itself" in the region, it's no surprise that China didn't take this news particularly well:
State-owned news agency Xinhua accused the United States of fuelling tensions after Washington announced five locations that its forces can have access to under a 10-year security deal with the Philippines.

"Muddying waters in the South China Sea and making the Asia-Pacific a second Middle East will do no good to the United States," Xinhua said in a commentary posted on its website on Saturday.

"Implementing a defence pact signed two years ago with the Philippines, one of the most aggressive South China Sea claimants, and designating an air base facing the Nansha Islands as one of the five locations which American forces will have access to have fed speculation about Washington's real purpose behind the moves."
Recently the US Navy sent a "small armada" to confront Chinese forces in the South China Sea, allegedly to ensure that international waters remain "free" for commercial vessels. When one of the world's largest economic and military powers warns of "a second Middle East", you should probably listen. Especially when they're coordinating foreign policy with Russia. Your move, Obama.