Tired arguments don’t fool Asians

Chandran Nair
The Financial Times

Sir, Ian Bremmer and David Gordon’s article should alarm all Asian readers. It is over-simplistic and exaggerates the nature of the relations between nations. These are the same old tricks employed by colonial powers and empires – divide and rule. The geopolitics of the 21st century will need to be shaped by a firm rejection of the tired old strategies of pitting one country against another. This is in fact not even good for the US, whose interests seem to be the sole reason for the arguments in the article.

They should also be reminded that people in Asia are no longer fooled by such tired arguments written in favour of US interests but masquerading as apparently essential for regional stability. For example, not many in Asia believe that China is flexing its muscle more than the US in the region.

Such advice given by people who do not live in the region and who will not live through the consequences must be firmly rejected. Japan in particular must reject it, and it is to be hoped that in doing so it will end more than half a century of subservience to US foreign policy. Japan and China should work together to stop this old trick so they can then start to help shape the region together with their neighbours.