Japan and Britain have responded in completely different ways to the China-led initiative to create the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which the United States has opted not to join.

In a rebuff to the U.S., Britain was the first Group of Seven member to announce that it would join the AIIB as a founding member. Out of courtesy, Britain informed the U.S. government of its intention just one day before its official announcement.

Some within the U.S. government are still vocal in their indignation. These were the resentful words of one top American official with whom I spoke: "The strategy worked, up until the point at which basically the Chinese bribed the British. The Chinese offered Cameron a vice presidency in the bank, they offered London to be the clearing house for RMB transactions in Europe. My point is that our strategy of staying out worked until we lost the British, and we lost them basically because of a geopolitical bribe, which is fine."