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    Greater China
     Apr 28, '14

Obama looks to ease Japan-China tensions
By M K Bhadrakumar

From a Chinese perspective, United States President Barack Obama's state visit to Japan last week was the high point of his current tour to Asia, which was to take him to South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines as well. China held its breath, and the sigh of relief was almost audible when Obama left Japan and headed for Seoul.

A presidential visit from the US to Japan is bound to generate

much interest for the regional politics in Asia-Pacific, given the tensions in Japan-China relations and the complexities of the "new type of major country relations" that China and the US are committed to promote. The diplomatic pirouette is also playing out against the backdrop of the US's rebalance strategy in Asia and China's acrimonious territorial disputes with its neighbors.

However, Obama's state visit to Japan was of exceptional importance because the regional and international security situation has transformed beyond recognition in the past couple of months or so. The developments in Ukraine cast their shadows on the Sino-American relationship. China would be keenly assessing whether the emergent preoccupations in the Euro-Atlantic space would diminish the US's capacity to give ballast to its rebalance strategy in the Asia-Pacific - and if so, how the US's regional allies adjust themselves to the new reality. More ...

Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar served as a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service for over 29 years, with postings including India's ambassador to Uzbekistan (1995-1998) and to Turkey (1998-2001).

(Copyright 2014 M K Bhadrakumar)




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