China's global priorities might not match up that well with those of your average American policymaker. But they do match up quite well with President Obama's agenda.
That's the sense I got after spending last week in Shanghai with a bevy of China's top foreign affairs academics. Although the workshop I attended was focused on U.S.-Chinese relations, there was no shortage of side conversation on the post-election meltdown unfolding in Iran. And nothing I heard in terms of the Chinese sense of priorities bore any resemblance to what you see these days in American newspaper headlines.
As during the Cold War, it is possible to talk about the world at large, with all its usual crises. But it is also possible to talk about the world as seen -- distinctly -- by the two great superpowers of the age.