May 6, 2011
The United States’ most vilified terrorist foe has been dead only a week but China is already haunted by the phantom of the next big US enemy. Almost simultaneously with the spread of the news of Osama bin Laden’s death in a covert US operation in Pakistan, Chinese analysts had begun the guessing game of where Washington will focus its attention next.
“Why didn’t they catch him alive?” speculated military affairs analyst Guo Xuan. “Because he was no longer needed as an excuse for Washington to take the anti-terror war outside of the US borders. It is because of bin Laden that the US were allowed to increase their strategic presence in many places around the world as never before. But Libya and NATO’s attack there have changed the game. They (the US) no longer need bin Laden to assert their authority.”
Even before bin Laden’s death, Beijing had expressed concern that the US strategists are diverting their attention from the war on terror to containing the rise of China and other emerging economies.