Wednesday, November 11, 2009

APEC run-up: China Matters

The upcoming APEC meetings, combined with the Japanese effort at the Mekong Development Summit and the East Asia tour of America's President Obama and entourage, will bring many issues to be dealt with, but perhaps none more likely to go wrong than matters with the People's Republic ("Red") China.

Here are two danger areas that the leaders of Japan (and the United States) had best be considering carefully *before* they speak:

The P.R. Chinese economy is very likely not capable of being an engine of recovery, even for its own people not to mention trying to be the next great consumer economy. The numbers just don't add up. Someone is cooking the books. Taking a trusting position right now won't help anyone.


The issue of Taiwan is, and has been, greatly aided by policies of Strategic Ambiguity on the part of Japan and the United States; the answer to the question of "Would either nation defend Taiwan from an attack by the PRC?" being somewhere between "*YES*" and "maybe", but never less than that. But given the performance of the Obama administration abroad so far, there is a genuine fear that he might say otherwise on this trip. Never mind that contravenes American law on the matter; all he has to say is "um... no?" and the PRC will take that as a green light for action.

So here's hoping for some diplomatic good sense on the part of all involved...

...faint hope that may be.

No comments: