After months of railing against the “Buy American” clauses in the US stimulus package by a revolving coterie of government officials warning against rising protectionism across the globe, China has adopted a new position. The government yesterday announced explicit “Buy China” rules that will require that stimulus package funds be spent only on Chinese goods and services. Let the US-China trade friction commence in earnest now. Fortunately we’ll all have a front row seat. But China’s also quite willing to extend a friendly hand in cooperation with other nations, particularly if there are vast natural resources involved. China and Russia promised to provide Central Asian nations with US$17.5 billion in aid to help them weather the economic crisis. The pledges were made at the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Oganization in Russia, where Hu Jintao and Dmitry Medvedev also took a moment to call once again for a new global reserve currency to offset the power of the dollar. All this playing nice with Russia (not to mention tens of billions of dollars in loans to Russian oil companies) may also be starting to pay off. Russia’s LUKOIL has agreed to sell Sinopec 3 million tons of crude over the next year.