politics

U.S. defends Asian alliances against China criticism

23 Comments
By MATTHEW PENNINGTON

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China’s Defense Minister Chang Wanquan last month called for countries to abandon what he described as “Cold War thinking,” and in a high-profile foreign policy address last weekend, President Xi Jinping spoke of a “growing trend toward a multipolar world.”

Totally agree. Go China. :)

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

I also agree that the world is going to be more multi-polar in the near future (technically already is, just skewed in favour of USA).

Having said that its totally within the rights of each party to try and win larger pieces of the pie, and also fight to defend their dominance of the pie as well. A re-balancing of power, history all over again.

Its interesting stuff although I wish no one needed to get shot, bombed or starved to death by embargoes and such in the process; but unfortunately thats probably wishful thinking.

Best luck to all of us living in the present, hopefully we live out peaceful lives.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If Beijing excepted the principles of international law would be a step in the right direction

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The cold war is very much alive as there is only one side that clearly values democracy.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Hey Chinese govt morons! In case you hadn't noticed the oceans around the far east & south east Asia have been pretty trouble free for DECADES now!

And part of that is because of the Yanks presence WHICH btw China has also benefited from(hence the moron part!)

NOW China unilaterally decides vast areas of ocean is THEIRS.............W T F!

NOW the whole region has a problem & its is C H I N A !!!!!

China your the problem, PERIOD!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

China would like the US to withdraw from Asia and its Asian alliances because it hinders their plans for regional dominance. China really sucks as a country.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

What does modernizing and strengthening alliances, Obama's foreign policy of "pivot" to Asia, mean to Okinawa? Certainly, it means more physical suffering and burden on our part because U.S. bases will be strengthened and perpetuated against our will. There's something absolutely wrong here.

Every nation that benefits form alliances with the U.S. must take this fact into consideration. They cannot be free riders totally disregarding Okinawa's exorbitant sacrifice.

It is to the good for everyone that China "is promoting an alternative vision that stresses security cooperation among Asian nations themselves." But, of course, China must work hard to dispel deep-seated suspicion and apprehension its neighboring countries harbor towards it. "Let the person who brought it up do it first," says an old Chinese wisdom.

It's also good to hear Evan Medeiros say "the U.S. wants its allies to have cooperative relations with China, including its military."

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@voiceofokinawa

You can address your claims of "physical suffering" to:

1 Chome-7-1 Nagatacho, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-0014, Japan

as they are the ones responsible, full stop.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

scipantheist:

Your response to my post is off the track.

The point of my argument is: If there were genuine peace and stability in the region, the Obama administration's "pivot" to Asia would naturally lose its momentum and Okinawa would be exonerated from this miserable plight.

Are you afraid that such a day might come?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

voiceofokinawa

I hope you are right because if not then you'll just be trading one enemy for another and I do not think PRC will be any nicer then the US if not worse. In modern warfare the Okinawa island chain is at all an ideal position to develop the modern great wall of China in which they will fortify to the teeth with no regards to the locals.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Historically, Okinawa has experienced outside influence one way or the other that the people sarcastically call "from To (Tang = Chinese) days to Yamatu (Japanese) days to American days."

Of these three, who were the worst outsiders? Americans. They came in hordes as invaders, occupied the islands, turning the largest island into a formidable citadel. They administered the islands with iron hand and with disdain like a despicable colony.

Today, America's iron-fisted administration of Okinawa is the thing of the past thanks to Okinawa's decades-long struggle against it. Japan recovered Okinawa's administrative right in 1972.

But Okinawa's status as a U.S. military colony remains intact even today. This state of affairs must come to an end someday somehow. It cannot go on forever. It's a tragic irony that Tokyo gives a helping hand to Washington to preserve and even perpetuate the status quo.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

voiceofokinawa Dec. 05, 2014 - 06:39AM JST It's a tragic irony that Tokyo gives a helping hand to Washington to preserve and even perpetuate the status quo.

In a 2011 poll, only 4.7 percent of Okinawans were for pro-independence. Majority do not want independence. If these people in Okinawa is dissatisfied with Tokyo's handling of the U.S. forces, why is the support for the independence from their citizens is a drop in the bucket?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

sfjp330:

Right now, a pro-independence force is indeed "a drop in the bucket" as you say. But, who knows, it might gather momentum if Tokyo keeps bullying Okinawa, say, by pressing ahead with the Futenma relocation plan and at the same time stifling the financial situation of the newly-elect Onaga administration.

Tokyo's justification of the relocation of Futenma to Henoko is that the hazardous Futenma Air Station must be closed and relocated to a less populated area at Henoko. But if that argument holds, then Kadena Air Base, the most accident-prone and the most hazardous base, must be closed and relocated somewhere else first and foremost.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@voiceofokinawa

China’s military rise has made Okinawa’s independence even less likely than before. Okinawa is now indispensible for defense against China. The financial advantages of remaining within Japan also influence Okinawans very strongly. Raising the independence issue is not so much a plea for political freedom so much as a negotiating tactic to which Japanese goverment responds by continuously appeasing the local government with more and more subsidies, because there’s no alternative.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Today, America's iron-fisted administration of Okinawa is the thing of the past thanks to Okinawa's decades-long struggle against it. Japan recovered Okinawa's administrative right in 1972.

An alternative (and more realistic) view is that the US returned control of Okinawa because it has no interest in foreign colonies. Just saying...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

scipantheist

The US returned administrative rights to Japan in 1972 in case you didn't know.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"As China looks to take a bigger role on the global stage, it is promoting an alternative vision that stresses security cooperation among Asian nations themselves — although many have been spooked by China’s own military buildup and expansive territorial claims."

And it's that "alternative vision" that other Asian countries see for what it is: Chinese territorial expansion along with military AND economic bullying.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sadly as it is, It’s too late for the US to reverse the dynamics which have been facilitated by both Japan and America for last two decades.

Today, officially the US has been pushed to the second largest economy by the China even though not many people in the world are aware.

According to The International Monetary Fund reported that this year China will produce $17.6 trillion vs the US - $17.4 trillion.

Put this piece data in the context , The US or EU simply can’t afford to ignore China’s fast growth which presents 16% of worldwide economy. In year 2000, The US’s economy was three times bigger than Chinese one. 14 years later, it has surpassed the US.

It’s true, the US will still dominate the landscape of the global economy for years to come and Americans are richer and freer than its counterpart, but that could change as well, not one knows.

The sudden rise of China is a tectonic shift and such shift of power in the region would be extremely hard for Japan to adjust to such game-changer psychologically and politically.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@EthanWilber China ranks somewhere below Serbia in terms of GDP per capita. Yes China is a large country with a lot of people, but you have to have the resources free and not tied up in keeping people fed to build weapons and buy friends.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

sfjp330:

I'm not so enthusiastic about Okinawa's independence as you try to put what I don't think into my head. But I will think about it when all democratic measures are exhausted to appeal our case. Right now, I'm rather interested in Japan itself's genuine independence.

As I see it Japan is no other than a pitiful U.S. vassal dominated by tail-wagging Yank-philiac politicians (former PM Junichiro Koizumi was a typical example), because of which Okinawa suffers like hell. Until Japan recovers a full sovereignty Okinawa's independence may be a mere pipe dream.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@scipantheist, it appears to me that you are an old schooler, and you have not done any business with China or visited it in recent years.

It’s indisputable that the Chinese regime is an authoritarian one, and some of parts in China are still underdeveloped. But that does not necessarily mean that the US’s influence in the region and the world will never be challenged. Unlike Japan, the US will not bury the head in the sand.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@voiceofokinawa Well, I support you in your quest for Japan's independence, believe it or not. Better focus on getting that ol' economy going, though, as you're going to need a lot of money in the form of weapons to keep your independence in that neighborhood. Also when will the nuclear weapons program be starting? Don't expect to keep the umbrella with no payment.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

scipantheist:

Japan has adopted the well-known national policy of the Three Non-Nuclear Principles that rules out the production, possession, or introduction of nuclear weapons. Japan also ratified the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Japan thus spearheads other nations in fighting for the abolition of nuclear weapons.

So it's very illogical and contradictory for Japan to seek protection by the U.S. under its nuclear umbrella. That should be stopped. The "tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye" tactics doesn't solve international problems or conflicts. The arms buildup cannot be deterrence. The most effective deterrence, then, is building genuine mutual trust and friendship .

Therefore, one can say with certainly that the above article reports a good first step toward that end.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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