Has anyone noted the structural similarity between Israel's announcement last March, while Biden was dining with Netanyahu, that 1600 new settlements had been approved for East Jerusalem, and China's test flight of its new J-20 stealth fighter during Robert Gates' visit this week? In both cases, the presidents of the countries visited claimed to be surprised by the embarrassing event, blindsided by decisions taken by the defense ministry (Israel) or the People's Liberation Army (China) .
I will refrain from facile and uninformed speculation as to what this coincidence may suggest about U.S. stature or Chinese stagecraft.
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