International Politics in Northeast Asia: The China-Japan-United States Strategic Triangle

  • March 01, 1996
  • Dr Thomas L Wilborn

The United States has vital security and economic interests in Northeast Asia, one of the most dynamic regions of the world. This monograph focuses on the three bilateral relationships, those connecting China, Japan, and the United States to each other, which will dominate the future of the region. Dr. Thomas Wilborn analyzes these relations, taking into account key issues involving Taiwan and North Korea, and offers insights regarding their future course. He also reviews U.S. engagement policy and assesses the value of U.S. military presence for regional stability. Dr. Wilborn suggests that in the short range, Washington should avoid significant changes of policy. However, in the long range, the United States will have to establish machinery which provides ways for the major states, especially China and Japan, to assert greater initiative commensurate with their economic power, yet within a stable political context. Multilateral operational structures to supplement existing bilateral relations in Northeast Asia may provide a means for the United States to influence long-range trends and protect U.S. interests.