China accuses US, UK and Australia of trying to build Asia-Pacific NATO


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This makes China useless as a military ally.

So I mostly agree with you; I think that China's relative military weakness is a reason it has limited international appeal as an ally. The fact that Russia -- a perceived as de facto ally of the regime, fairly or unfairly -- is basically begging China for aid -- and the fact that those cries have gone more or less unheeded, is not a good sign to the rest of the world of China's willingness to go to the wall for anyone.

But let's not get carried away here, either. They've got a nuclear umbrella, and that ain't nothing. And their inability to project power globally shouldn't impact their ability to have a sphere of influence that includes Vietnam or, heck, the Philippines, who for ten years, were basically trying to get kicked out of the American sphere of influence. And that's what China's worried about here... their neighbors.

I think everyone knows that the US fucked over the Cuban people, and that their behavior led to the fact that Cuba will basically always be hostile towards the US. But China has been working on six or seven Cubas for the last five years, when they could have been building their relationships to their neighbors.

21 countries have signed up for China's "Belt and Road"

This is neither here nor there really, but I want to remark on how good a deal for South America this is. This is all free money in the long run. If a nation without the ability to project military power invests, there's no way to actually protect those investments from nationalization or redistribution.

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