President Obama’s strategic “pivot” towards Asia and the Pacific Rim has led to perhaps the greatest foreign policy success of his administration to date. Over the course of one week, Obama solidified relationships with nations around China’s periphery while China, outmaneuvered, was forced to turn the other cheek. Since November China has remained generally courteous in the face of American criticism, despite continued jockeying for power in the Pacific. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping’s recent trip to America has followed this mold. At a recent lunch with Vice President Biden, the American VP loudly aired his differences with China; Xi simply stood and smiled.Behind the smiles, however, China has been fighting back, though few have noticed. World Bank appointments may not command much attention, but China is now pushing back against the tradition that the presidency should be reserved for an American. More consequentially, China has been frustrating American goals in the Middle East, defying Western sanctions by inking an oil deal with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while lending support to Syria’s embattled Assad regime at the UN and sending an envoy to Damascus.Obama’s diplomatic coup last November was a bold first move toward reshaping U.S.-China relations, but it will not be the last. China has had some time to digest America’s actions and is slowly beginning to respond. The Great Game continues.