Foreign Policy

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the United States is an important opportunity to carry forward his grandfather’s legacy in seeking equal status with the U.S. in the area of security. “Abenomics,” which gives top priority to the “price of capital,” features bold financial policy and flexible fiscal policy will not be compromised for the U.S.-backed TPP, though.

The term “Chimerica,” is liberal theorizing that assumes the more economically interdependent the U.S. and China become, the more peaceful the hegemonic transition of power will be. Realists theorize that there is ongoing comprehensive balancing, from trade to militarization, and free trade alone will not solve deep ideological and system differences. Improved relations require increased participation and less inequality on both sides of the Pacific.

The U.S. state visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will be remembered not only because few foreign leaders have been privileged to address a joint session of Congress, but for the strengthening of the U.S.-Japan alliance. Neither Washington nor Tokyo should explicitly link a more robust U.S.-Japan relationship with deterrence against China’s rise.

Japan’s Constitution hasn’t been changed in 68 years, and prevents its military from staging rescue missions and other overseas operations. Brahma Chellaney encourages Japanese constitutional reform, with U.S. support, to act as a military balance in East Asia.

Obama-Abe

A key component of Washington’s military rebalancing strategy is improving its relationship with Japan. However, actions by Abe and some close associates reinforce suspicions of the attempt to legitimize imperialism through revised textbooks, visits by the PM to the Yasukuni Shrine, and reluctance to accept the history of “comfort women.”

Hilary Clinton’s established perspective on U.S.-China relations as the face of the “Pivot to Asia,” does not bode well for the bilateral relationship, writes Ben Reynolds. The existing Clinton ties with the Center for New America Security (CNAS), a hawkish, pro-interventionist think tank, further the claim that U.S. militaristic hegemony will continue to be the foreign policy toward China.

The Asian African Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia opened on April 22nd carrying the “Bandung Spirit” of solidarity and common will to fight against colonialism, strive for national independence, safeguard world peace, and promote friendly relations among themselves – all of which challenge existing international relations norms and apply to the developing world today.

The Obama administration’s “rebalance to Asia” policy launched in 2010 has turned toward militaristic power-based containment rather than engagement. The Council of Foreign Relations has suggested that the U.S. boost military budgets with its allies, and diminish trade with China, a dangerous and misguided strategy that resembles Cold War tactics.

Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has emerged as a key broker of perceptions between the U.S. and China. On behalf of the Belfer Center at Harvard, he has just completed a seminal report “U.S.-China 21: The Future of U.S.-China Relations Under Xi Jinping.

China’s growing involvement in Sri Lanka and South Asia, drew Prime Minister Narendha Modi to visit Sri Lanka, the first for an Indian PM in 27 years. India’s utmost concern is security with China’s so-called “string of pearls” strategy, which though coined by a U.S. defense contractor, suspects China of building naval bases in the Indian Ocean. To ease tension, the two countries must accommodate each other’s maritime interests.

The Japanese government pinned high hopes on the “three arrows” of fiscal reform, eager to suppress the deflation that has haunted the country for about a decade. But the moves haven’t solved key problems, including its aging and shrinking population. While the “third arrow” sent a clear signal for reforms and involved a wide range of sectors, the lack of real innovation in Abenomics has so far meant limited results.

China-US

Using a formula to define “comprehensive national strength,” Yan Xuetong explains how China has increased its national strength by expanding militarily, opening up economically, and maintaining strategic alliances. The world is increasingly witnessing bipolarization due to smaller nations strategically taking sides with either the U.S. or China for their securitization, yet this doesn’t mean another Cold War.

Though it would be an exaggeration to say another Cold War is occurring between the U.S. and Russia, their relationship has indeed descended to a new low because of the worsening situation in Ukraine. Yin Chengde posits that the locus of tension is in each sides’ challenge for influence in Ukraine, while China believes it should be solved through political and diplomatic means.

Iran nuclear

The recent Lausanne agreement on Iran’s nuclear program is an important step forward for the international community after more than 12 years of painstaking negotiations, writes Wu Jianmin.

AIIB

Many Western countries, the World Bank and other multilateral institutions are embracing China’s proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Their analysis concludes that the bank is a strategic asset for themselves as well as Asia, and the US could benefit from the same approach.

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