A prevalent strain of Western commentary suggests that Russian President Vladimir Putin is outfoxing a hapless and disunited West. If one evaluates the current round of Russia’s revanchist campaign — beginning with its annexation of Crimea — on its persistence in face of Western pressure, it has indeed been a success. Many observers fear, accordingly, that Russia’s effort will embolden China to act more aggressively in settling its territorial disputes, particularly in the maritime arena. It seems more likely, however, that China has learned a different set of lessons from Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, lessons that will compel it to double down on its strategy of persistent incrementalism and perhaps take even greater care to avoid a conflagration. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-FR – Michael’s Blog