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Title: The Changing Balance of Power in East Asia: Implications for Regional and International Security
Authors: Huxley, Tim
Keywords: East Asia;United States;Europe;security;defence
Date: 1998-11
Issue Date: 2016-10-04 17:38:33 (UTC+8)
Abstract: Despite claims that regional institutions and economic interdependence are playing increasingly important roles in maintaining peace in East Asia, the regional security landscape is still molded to a large extent by balance-of-power thinking and practice, in which relative military power is a central consideration. This paper assesses: (1) the changing distribution of military power in East Asia in terms of the evolving roles of extraregional players (the United States, Russia, and West European states) as well as the growing military capabilities of the regional states themselves; and (2)the strategic implications of this changing military balance for the region, the United States, and Europe. This paper argues that the key factor preventing the degeneration of rivalry between East Asian states into more naked military competition is and will remain the regional military commitment of the United States, which helps to constrain not only China's presumed hegemonic ambitions but also large-scale Japanese rearmament. Recent U.S. regional security policy has focused on reinforcing the stability of the regional balance, most importantly by bolstering key alliance relationships in the region (particularly with Japan and Australia). However, the balance envisaged in Wash ington does not rest solely on calculations of relative power: the United States has simultaneously attempted to engage China and has supported regional confidence-building dialogues. The present balance, underpinned by the U.S. regional security role, serves the interests of European states well. While responsilbility for reinforcing the stability of this balance must rest primarily with the United States, Japan, and other regional states, West European governments can contribute to East Asia's ”soft security.” Moreover, by becoming more self-reliant in their own defence and perhaps by contributing forces in support of the U.S. regional role, they can also contribute to the region's ”hard security” as well. West European governments, thought, might find such ”out-of-area” commitments hard to justify to domestic political constituencies.
Relation: Issues & Studies,34(11&12),90-120
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[Issues & Studies] 期刊論文

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