Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Security experts warn on China threat

In the morning session of the International Symposium on 50 Years of US-Japan Security Alliance and the Security of Taiwan organized by the Taiwan National Security Institute and the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy on Tuesday, former Japanese minister of defense Gen Nakatani, now a member of the House of Representatives, said that with a rising China at loggerheads with Japan, the best way to resolve disputes in East Asia would be to establish a regional security system.

Beijing’s recent stance on the disputed Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) has raised apprehensions in Japan about the growing military imbalance with China, Nakatani said, adding that if the issue was allowed to fester, it could deteriorate.

Nakatani called for the creation of an Asian equivalent of NATO, which he said would provide regional powers with a platform for conflict resolution.

In the meantime, a relatively weakened US would have to rely more on Japan and Taiwan to ensure security in the Asia Pacific, he said.

Dan Blumenthal, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said the US-Japanese security alliance in the 21st century would likely be as important as, if not more, than the US-UK alliance was for Europe during the Cold War.

“China poses problems for the US-Japan alliance probably not seen since 1945,” Blumenthal said.

Full coverage of the conference was published today in the Taipei Times, with me covering the morining session and my colleague Ko Shu-ling taking over in the afternoon (where Arthur Waldron was the main speaker).

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