Sunday, April 10, 2005
Trouble Brewing in Asia
While I was out in Dallas for a job interview this weekend, I happened upon a copy of the London-based Financial Times. The FT had dueling Asia-Pacific articles discussing the increasing tensions in that region: one about Taiwanese celebrating their role fighting alongside Japan in WWII, another about Chinese boycotts of Japanese goods.
Now this has been going on for quite some time (China and Japan have never liked each other), but it seems to be escalating as of late. Japan is becoming increasing nationalistic, even to the point of re-writing history in its middle school textbooks glorifying Japan's rule over both China and Korea. This has gotten the latter two countries quite peeved off lately, and Japan's formal claim to traditionally Korean islands hasn't made things any better. If this eventually leads to a showdown, it will be a China/N.Korea/S.Korea vs Japan/Taiwan power struggle that will bring the U.S. into a precarious position with allies (Japan, Taiwan, S. Korea) on both sides.
As much as I dislike Condi's firm loyalty to our President's poorly thought out foreign policy, I know she's an extremely capable Secretary of State. This battle will be in her court and I hope her black-boots diplomacy can handle it.
Let's just hope W keeps stumping for Social Security and leaves foreign relations to the professionals.