China,  Japan and the Irate Rise
There’s a conventional wisdom forming that in releasing the detained Chinese trawler captain, Japan backed down to Chinese pressure and as a result “lost” the confrontation. This is probably true from a short-term perspective, but the proof of the pudding will be whether Japan, in future, concedes on both the issue at hand — sovereignty over the disputed islands — and the broader issue that is China’s reach for regional dominance. I don’t think either of those are likely. And I think John McCreary sums up nicely why that is: The Chinese have overreached in their dealings with Japan, Southeast [...]
China Goes from Mono to Surround Sound
It seems like only last year that we were hearing warnings about how the state-capitalist model made possible by power concentrated at the top in places like China and Russia would ultimately make liberal economies a quaint artifact of the past. Now, it seems, China is increasingly going from mono to surround sound, as a marketplace of ideas emerges in its highest decision-making levels, at least when it comes to foreign policy and national security. It’s hard to imagine that this sort of policy-jockeying won’t also begin to characterize domestic economic policy, especially as the need to develop the vast [...]
The Great Asia Rebalancing: The Ghost of Huntington
I just wanted to flag two thought-provoking articles on the strategic shifts associated with China’s rise, which I’ve taken to calling, “The Great Asia Rebalancing.” The first is by Hugh White (excerpted from a longer essay here), the second by Michael Clarke. Together, they offer fascinating insights into the strategic choices faced by two historic U.S. allies, both of whom face very real constraints on their ability to keep up with the dramatic changes shaping the global security environment. Clarke notes that with the end of any real security threat either originating from or menacing Europe, the U.S. has effectively [...]
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