The Diplomat interviewed Joe Nye, who served in various intelligence and defense roles back in the Clinton years. Nye says:
China’s ability to get what it wants through attraction and persuasion rests on a number of factors: its culture (witness the Confucius Institutes it promotes); its values (particularly a successful growth model); and its foreign policies (for example, the pledge not to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries). But China’s refusal to support UN resolutions against the Assad regime has hurt more than helped. While Iran applauds the non-intervention policy, most Arab states and publics find China less attractive because of its policy on Syria.
And on Washington’s rearrangement of military bases across Asia:
The basing changes being implemented by the Obama Administration make sense, but they are marginal in the light of the main point that forward basing not only enhances military capabilities, it also makes extended nuclear deterrence credible in ways that mere paper treaties cannot. That was the heart of our initiative in the Clinton administration. What would worry me would be efforts to remove our forward bases from Japan and Korea and base those troops in the continental U.S. on some misguided theory of reducing the Pentagon budget. Because of host nation support, this would not really save much money, and it would certainly undercut the new focus on Asia.