M.K. Bhadrakumar  is correct that China’s establishment of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank is more than a commercial venture, and that the U.S. response to it is resulting in “splendid isolation” for America. But I see no reason for his assertion that this was not an anti-American move. This would be consummated, not contradicted, by an eventual offer for the U.S. to join and be part of an institution conceived and led by a rival power. In short, it seems to me that David Goldman’s reflections on the financial consequences of the AIIB, accurate as they are in their own terms, are beside the main point, which is: that China’s main intentions here are political grand strategy. This is about power, not money. The guiding principle for understanding this is “money does not make power. Rather, power makes money.”

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