Iraq puts China's hard power failings on display

China has been the biggest beneficiary of the post-Saddam oil boom in Iraq, but the US’ reluctance to intervene in the current crisis poses a stark dilemma for Beijing, and there is little it can can do in response.

Hollywood directors have unusually perceptive eyes for shifting geopolitical events. George Clooney produced and starred in a 2005 geopolitical thriller called Syriana, in which one of the main plot lines is the struggle between the US and China over oil interests in the Middle East.

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