In today’s Australian Financial Review: China rebuffs Australia-US ‘Cold War style’ co-operation (paywall).
…China’s ambassador to Australia, Chen Yuming, told The Australian Financial Review there was too much emphasis on the strengthening of military alliances in the Asia-Pacific region and not enough on the pressing economic difficulties which meant countries like the US, China, Europe and Japan had to work closely together.
Has the European Union finally become a country?
China’s relationships with other countries is clearly a touchy subject. Disputes with Japan over ownership of the Senkaku Islands (known as the Daioyu Islands by the Chinese), and other disputes over maritime boundaries in the South China Sea are at least part of the United States’ Pivot to Asia.
But I think it is realistic that the pivot is more about trade, economics and diplomatic relations.
According to an opinion piece in the SMH by Prof Hugh White, war between China and an allied Japan and USA is an increasing possibility.
The Greek historian Thucydides first explained the difference almost 2500 years ago. He wrote that the catastrophic Peloponnesian War started from a spat between Athens and one of Sparta’s allies over a relatively insignificant dispute. But what caused the war was something much graver: the growing wealth and power of Athens, and the fear this caused in Sparta.
I of course find the prospect of a war so close-to-home unnerving, but this is an interesting analysis of a series of seemingly small events that could escalate.
I recall when I was living in Japan in the early 90’s that there was press and worry about the Kuril Islands Dispute between Russia and Japan (both claim sovereignty). Fortunately that situation
seemed to be resolved peacefully (although unresolved at this writing) seems to be being negotiated diplomatically and has not resulted in military conflict.