Obviously, you can be a strategic thinker and disagree with the transparency of the Obama administration's containment strategy on China. You can also believe there's just as much - or more - work to be done right now in the Middle East (Spring, Iran's nukes, Palestine, Syria).
But this is a weird piece, because I don't think the Chinese are dumb enough to believe that Kerry can "drop" the pivot if he so chooses.
But the positive Chinese press pours in, apparently.
From the piece:
Kerry himself sort of predicted this when he said of the pivot during his confirmation hearings, “You know, the Chinese take a look at that and say, what’s the United States doing? They trying to circle us? What’s going on?”
The author Max Fisher's judgment is a bit simplistic: if Kerry is just trying to make nice with China, then fine, but if he's serious and actually focuses on the Middle East, then China benefits!
Sounds to me like WAPO is trying to "out" Kerry on China in this sophomoric piece. People on that paper have too much time on their hands and too little non-inside-the-Beltway stuff to cover. WAPO is truly a small-town newspaper. Always has been, always will.