Friday, 27 December 2013

FP advocates war?

Another appalling piece from Foreign Policy as Paul Miller suggests that the US should threaten China over the Senkaku islands.
With every passing day, China's power grows relative to that of the United States. If there is ever a confrontation between the United States and China, it is to U.S. advantage for it to happen earlier rather than later, while the power differential is still very large and in the United States' favor
This is not because of this issue at hand, which had he discussed it, Miller should have found underwhelming: The Senkaku islands remain disputed terroritory after a WW2 peace treaty dealt with them in ambiguous terms.

The issue, it seems, is that China is not "one of the good guys":
No, the rise of India is not the same, for the same reason that Europe and Japan are not threats: because they coexist happily with the United States within the zone of the democratic peace.
Accordingly, at least according to Miller, it is best for the US to threaten war now, over islands that are, according to the US state department itself, contested.

Miller is wrong: Regardless of whether China threatens the status quo, it's (checked) rise is far less worrying than the potential catastrophes that could arise from an attempt by the US to challenge it. It is in everyone's best interests that the stand off over the Senkaku islands is resolved peacefully. Resolution may even provide the means for a more stable East Asian situation.

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