Posted by: elambend | February 26, 2008

An Invitation from China

China has invited the US and Japan to have regular high-level three-way talks about issues affecting East Asia, such as energy strategies, North Korea, and the environment. Korea (rightly) has expressed alarm at being excluded from the suggested meetings between ministers and high-level bureaucrats. [And really, could anything play more into South Korean paranoia than proposed private meetings between Japan, China, and the U.S.]

I found this at Contentions, where the author seemed to take a dim view of this:

“No other nation provides more diplomatic support to Pyongyang. The Chinese cannot obtain the North Koreans’ cooperation or they do not want to. Either conclusion shows that China is not a helpful diplomatic partner. Consequently, it would be unwise to repeat our strategic mistakes by giving Beijing more clout than it deserves. “

Although, when you start with this supposition, it’s hard to find anything but one conclusion:

“We start with the general proposition that, given Beijing’s worldview, anything the Chinese propose cannot be advantageous for either the Japanese or us.”

I don’t think this is a correct assumption. The legitimacy that the poster, Mr. Chang fears giving China already exists, both in the size of its economy as well as the importance of that economy to both the US and Japan. We should insist that S. Korea be included, of course, but these meetings will result in pulling China further into the Core of the world economic and government system. Also, what Mr. Chang misses is that it is a tacit acceptance of the US’s role on that side of the Pacific by China.


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