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BREMMER: The Japan-China Crisis Is The Most Significant Geopolitical Tension In The World

Published: January 25, 2013
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Source: Business Insider

The big problem is that the relationship, the balance of power between these two countries, has changed and is changing dramatically—and really, very strongly not in Japan’s favor.

From a security perspective, a political perspective, an economic perspective, this is just creating big, big problems for the Japanese. And now they finally have a leader that has a good shot at staying around for a while. He has a more—not just nationalist inclination—but a more pro-democracy inclination. He was prime minister last time and people said he was more pragmatic, but if you met with him, he talked about wanting to create a league of democracies in Asia [and] orienting much more towards India and Australia and New Zealand. He was Mr. Pivot before pivoting was fashionable, right?

Now he comes into a context where the U.S. is already acting in a way that’s concerned about a Chinese challenge in the region. It’s the single biggest strategic effort that the Obama administration has engaged in, from a foreign policy perspective.

And you have to think that the Chinese are going to see all this as provocative. The real question is, to what extent is the Chinese government prepared to respond in an escalatory fashion? Is this Russia vs. Georgia? A little bit, right. Are you poking the bear?

And I don’t know the answer to that, but I suspect it’s not good.


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