The present global preoccupations with rapid Chinese economic growth and conflicts with Japan over territory, resources, representations of history, and Japan's place in the United Nations should not lead to expectations of either inevitable Chinese military dominance in the region or expectations that Chinese economic growth will continue at current rates unimpeded by potentially catastrophic internal or external factors. Medium-term East Asian regional futures crucially turn on the fundamental question of the future of US hegemony that has framed the rise of both postwar Japan and post-Maoist China. Assessments of US hegemony in East Asia vary according to both the concept of hegemony employed and readings of US initiatives in recent years. The present conjuncture is a complex flux of diminishing US regional and global power and a simultaneous blend of both enduring acceptance of and growing resistance to internalised norms of the US hegemony. This situation obliges the leaderships of regional states to make strategic choices in circumstances that are both unclear and conflicted.
|Richard TANTER||Dr Richard Tanter was Professor of International Relations at Kyoto Seika University from 1989 until 2003. His publications include Masters of Terror: Indonesia's Military in East Timor in 1999.|
|Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability|
|[Joint Australia-Japan Workshop] Searching for Equitability and Peace in the Post-9/11 World: Exploring Alternatives for Australia and Japan|