Repeated Territorial Disputes Are a Normal State of International Politics

On the 15th September, a participant in the violent anti-Japan demonstration throws a bottle at a Japanese supermarket shelf in Qingdao, Shandong Province. China, in its quest to become the ‘hegemony of Asia', may be making what is a natural assertion in its demand for the Senkaku Islands to be regarded as its own national territory. Photograph:Reuters/Afro

──China has a strategic aim.

I agree. It is hard to forgive South Korea and Russia for their illegal occupation of Japanese territory, but these two countries are not planning to make Japan a tributary state. But the Chinese government has a clear strategy for expanding its sphere of influence. China has been implementing this expansionist strategy patiently for the last 60 years.

In China there is a definite national intent (and now a desire for revenge) to make Japan a subject nation in China’s empire. For the last 2500 years the Han race has built mighty empires countless times, I think it is natural that they aspire to such expansion of their sphere of influence.


──At the end of last year the American government clarified its new strategy of shifting American military power to Asia in order to check the rise of China.

America has decided to reduce its military budget over the next ten years. It is doubtful whether or not America can increase its military strength in the Asia Pacific region.

From the administration of President Bush (senior) following on from the end of the Cold War to last summer, a so-called ‘China engagement’ policy has been adopted. This is a simple measure aimed at China coexisting peacefully with neighbouring countries after it has become free and democratic nation through embracing the Western free economy system.

Prominent strategists including Kennan, Huntington and Mearsheimer (Chicago University) identified the error of this ‘China engagement’ policy 20 years ago, but the U.S. State Department and both the Democratic and Republican Parties didn’t want to hear about it. However, intelligence officials at the Pentagon (U.S. Ministry of Defence) held Mearsheimer in high regard.


──Mearsheimer is relatively unknown in Japan

Even in America the mass media basically ignores Mearsheimer. However his intelligence and insight have been held in high regard by the CIA and the Pentagon. We can say that, on the one hand, there is the strategist Harvard University’s Joseph Nye, the man who coined the term ‘soft power’, is highly received among an amateurs, on the other hand, the strategist Mearsheimer who is highly received only among experts.

What is interesting about Mearsheimer’s precautionary argument with regard to China is that one can discern absolutely no prejudice or negative feelings towards the Chinese. He takes a strict line towards China and asserts that it is necessary to have a firm containment policy with regard to China, but on the other hand by claiming that it is natural that China should become the hegemony within Asia and denying that the Chinese have particularly evil intentions he vindicates China’s position.

Mearsheimer points out the following.

It was 19th century America that proclaimed the so-called ‘Monroe Doctrine’, driving European influence away from the Western hemisphere. In 1898 in the Spanish-American War, after establishing ‘American hegemony in the Western hemisphere’, America implemented a policy that ‘with regard to Europe and East Asia would not allow the emergence of a hegemonic country having the power to be able to resist America.’ This is why 20th century America prevented the three countries Japan, Germany and Russia from moving to establish a regional hegemony. This is why America after the Second World War, with regard to the establishment of American military bases in Japan, prevented ‘Japan from becoming a major power’.

The strategy recently implemented by China is identical to the American strategy. China is constructing a ‘Chinese Monroe Doctrine’ to keep American influence out of Asia. It wants to prevent Japan from becoming a major power capable of independent national defence. It’s no mystery that China is implementing the same strategy as America in its quest for regional hegemony.

Japan is sandwiched between both of the major powers of America and China which can be called ‘addiction to hegemony’. Japan’s position is tragic, isn’t it? (sigh).

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Repeated Territorial Disputes Are a Normal State of International Politics
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