Future Hangs in the Balance
   2014-04-24 15:31:58    China Daily      Web Editor: Wang

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) waves next to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant in Tokyo, April 23, 2014. [Photo: Agencies]

By Shen Dingli

The US president should persuade Japan's right-wingers of the error of their ways during his trip to the region to ensure stability.

After undergoing nearly seven decades of development since the end of World War II, Asia has already taken on a new look, witnessing not only the rise of a group of industrialized countries and regions during the latter part of the 20th century, but also the emergence of a number of economies that have grown to be the engine of global economic growth in the new century.

However, Asia's development is still unbalanced.

First, Asia's political cooperation is out of step with its economic dynamism. Political trust, particularly in East Asia, is still severely lacking. The actions and comments of Japanese right-wingers, who go so far as to complain of injustice when it comes to the Tokyo Trials and try to strengthen the country's control of territory it annexed illegally during its imperialist past, have undoubtedly sown the seeds of deep mistrust among East Asian countries.

Second, in the context of the strained relations between some countries in the region, some Western media have been hyping speculation that the Asian economy might slow further. It is true economies in East Asia have recently experienced moderate or medium-speed growth after years of high-speed expansion. But this tendency is in line with the law of development, and also is connected to the fatigued global economy. Even so, the development speed of Asia's emerging economies still far exceeds that of Western developed countries, and their momentum is increasingly reshaping the global landscape.

Because of the existence of various rifts and the lack of mutual trust, the region is in desperate need of candid dialogue. The trust deficit in Asia has affected the progress of regional economic cooperation, but at the same time it also suggests that there is great potential for further economic, investment and trade cooperation in the region, including the construction of regional free trade areas.

Asia needs to accumulate constructive positive energy, give full play to the spirit of countries being in the same boat, and effectively alleviate regional tensions to change the negative factors into positive elements. Moreover, Asia should oppose any shortsighted actions to set up small cliques.

Currently in Asia, there are serious differences between those countries adhering to unity and cooperation to benefit all and those trying to form cliques and factions to benefit themselves. It is Japan that is leading such divisiveness, as it has tried to piece together an Asian version of NATO, and antagonized its neighbors by clinging obstinately to its denial of historical facts and even embarked along the road of glorifying aggression.

Any responsible power must go all out to contribute to regional peace and stability based on human morality and justice. As a great power with tremendous economic and military presence in the region, how the United States sets out its Asia-Pacific position will make all the difference to Asia's stability and development. Whether Washington will offer constructive cooperation to Asian countries' efforts to enhance mutual trust and erase the doubts of its intentions has a direct bearing on regional peace, as well as the US' own strategic interests.

Thus the eyes of the world are focused on US President Barack Obama's four-nation trip to Asia that began in Japan on Wednesday.

If the US can aim high and think big and cooperate sincerely with countries in the region to establish a common security and trust mechanism that is suitable to the characteristics of the Asia-Pacific region, it will surely receive a share of Asia's peace dividend and be genuinely welcomed among Asian countries.

However, if the US is unwilling or unable to contribute to Asia-Pacific stability, and instead takes sides in the region's various historical and sovereignty disputes, it will be hard for the country to become the kind of responsible power that can benefit Asia. If the US only looks at short-term interests and sits watching Japan turning its military ambition into reality step by step, not only will the troublemaker's interests be ultimately damaged, but also those of the US.

History has repeatedly shown us that a country that employs a policy of appeasement will eventually shoot itself in the foot.

The author is a professor and associate dean of the Institute of International Studies, Fudan University.

Share

               


CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. No person, organization and/or company shall reproduce, disseminate or broadcast the content in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of CRIENGLISH.com.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

 
Listen
 
 

 
 
Highlights
Media Scan
Seven Sentenced to Death for Drug Smuggling
A court in Shandong has sentenced seven people to death for drug smuggling; three others have been given death with a 2-year reprieve.
Survey Shows Excessive Intake of Aluminum
Residents of northern China and those under the age of 14 may be ingesting more aluminum than healthy.
CHINATALKS
Video
• C4: Bad Boys
Join us for the latest episode of CRI's hilarious comedy news show.
• C4: World Cup Fever
Join us for the latest episode of CRI's hilarious comedy news show.
In Depth

News
China
World
Politics
Business
Sports
Showbiz
Sci-tech
Photo
Recommended
China
World
Sports
Showbiz
Travel
Video
C4
The Sound Stage
Showbiz
Travel
China Revealed
My Chinese Life
Travel
Destinations
Photo Gallery
Recommended
Learn Chinese
"In" Chinese
Chatting in Chinese
Pop Culture
Traditional Culture
Living Chinese
Chinese Studio
Chinese Class
Learn English
Special English
Pop Chart
Everyday English
Fabulous Snaps
CRI News
China.org.cn  | Xinhua  | People's Daily Online   |  CNTV.cn  | China Daily  |  Global Times  | China Job  |  China Tibet Online  | Taiwan.cn  | eBeijing  | Beijing Today  | China-Eurasia Expo  | APEC Yiwu Conference  | Chinese Embassy in S.Africa  | Chinese Embassy in Australia  | Chinese Embassy in NZ