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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

China, Taiwan, Japan and the U.S.

In a lengthy article, Chalmers Johnson reports on the changing balance of power in Asia (and the world), and how Taiwan and China might well work out their differences if not for belligerent interference from the U.S. and Japan. Perhaps most disgraceful is his summary of neonut pressure to remilitarize Japan in violation of its constitution. This seems to be both a greedy attempt to develop yet another market for America's arms merchants and a way to provoke China. Johnson concludes:
Why should China's emergence as a rich, successful country be to the disadvantage of either Japan or the United States? History teaches us that the least intelligent response to this development would be to try to stop it through military force. As a Hong Kong wisecrack has it, China has just had a couple of bad centuries and now it's back. The world needs to adjust peacefully to its legitimate claims -- one of which is for other nations to stop militarizing the Taiwan problem -- while checking unreasonable Chinese efforts to impose its will on the region. Unfortunately, the trend of events in East Asia suggests we may yet see a repetition of the last Sino-Japanese conflict, only this time the U.S. is unlikely to be on the winning side.