When you do, you will find a transcript of an interesting conversation between Hillary and Lloyd Blankfein (yes, that Lloyd Blankfein) that took place in October 2013 at Goldman's "Builders and Innovators Summit" in Arizona. After drawing on her expertise to enlighten the audience about diplomatic hotspots and trends in American foreign policy, Clinton focuses in on the South China Sea:
"48 percent of the world's trade, obviously that includes energy but includes everything else, goes through the South China Sea. Some of you may have seen the long article in the New York Times Magazine on the South China Sea this past weekend, an issue that I worked on for the entire time was in the State Department because China basically wants to control it. You can't hold that against them. They have the right to assert themselves. But if nobody's there to push back to create a balance, then they're going to have a chokehold on the sea lanes and also on the countries that border the South China Sea."
But it is in a separate conversation about China, this time at Goldman's June 2013 "IBD CEO Annual Conference" in South Carolina, that Clinton lays bare the extent of America's imperial hubris in the Asia-Pacific. Discussing Washington's strategy for dealing with China in the context of the growing North Korean missile threat, Clinton confessed that:
"We're going to ring China with missile defense. We're going to put more of our fleet in the area."
Needless to say, the idea of "ring[ing] China with missile defense" is nothing new to anyone...least of all the Chinese. In fact, the story of the US military's highly controversial deployment of a "THAAD" (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) system in South Korea is literally ripped from today's headlines. But whereas that deployment has always been framed as a necessary counter to North Korea's growing military capabilities, no one has been under any delusions about which way these "defense" systems are pointing. But now we have Clinton admitting in her own words that this is part of a strategy to "ring China," making future US-China diplomacy a tad more uncomfortable (to say the least).
Asia-Pacific Pivot," the US government's plan to refocus its attention on its Pacific "partners" (i.e. enemies, frenemies and imperial subjects)...that was immediately derailed and overshadowed by the illegal wars of aggression in Libya and Syria.
But this is the point: It is a restatement and seeming re-commitment to that plan, four years after its announcement and one year after Clinton stepped down as Secretary of State. Clinton's tight focus on China and the South China Sea naval disputes in particular tell us that the Asia-Pacific Pivot is still very much a priority for the soon-to-be-annointed "leader of the free world." And from the perspective of the average Chinese person, that must sound like a not-so-thinly-veiled threat.