Remember in “Superbad” when Seth yells at Evan for making him eat alone in the cafeteria like he’s Steven Glansburg? Picture the world as a cafeteria. Today, China may be the planet’s Steven Glansburg.

In this recent piece in Foreign Policy magazine, Minxin Pei tries to explain why China has so few “meaningful allies” or friends.

According to her:

Real strategic alliance or friendship is not a commodity that can be bought and bartered casually. It is based on shared security interests, fortified with similar ideological values and enduring trust.

So while Steven Glansburg may gain “friends” by whipping out his dad’s credit card and buying a few kids lunch, when it comes down to it he still finds himself eating alone.

All ridiculous metaphors aside:

Is this true about China? If so, does it make them less of a threat in the future of America? Which path to gaining allies is more effective/useful? Buying them or having similar interests?