Thursday, December 06, 2007

The many whys behind the ‘Kitty Hawk’ incident

In “The method in Beijing’s madness,” an article I published today in the Taipei Times, I explore the number of reasons why Beijing may have decided last month to deny entry into Hong Kong harbor to a series of US sea vessels. While most of the analysis to date has either focused on Beijing seeking to send the US “a message” regarding its displeasure with Washington selling Taipei military equipment or on the leadership being somehow “irrational,” I propose that rather than the latter, Beijing’s decision was based on Realist calculations of balance of power with the ultimate aim — one it has stated repeatedly in recent years — of forcing the US out of the region.

There is no small irony in the fact that on this incident defense analysts and political pundits, all raised on Kissingerian Realism, have mostly failed to make that point in their assessments.

Readers can access the full article by clicking here

(Note: References to Taro Aso in the article should instead have read former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. My apologies for the error.)

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