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No Longer the "Lone" Superpower: Coming to Terms with China


9 Jul 2003
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<<If you have time please do read the entire thing.
But here's a bit to wet your appetite.
I find it quite informative and not at all superficial.>>

This is exerted from a Working Paper No. 105 (March 2005)
of the Japan Policy Research Institute. The Institute
does not focus only on Japan, but on that part
of the world in general.

by Chalmers Johnson

I recall forty years ago, when I was a new professor working in the field of Chinese and Japanese international relations, that Edwin O. Reischauer once commented, "The great payoff from our victory of 1945 was a permanently disarmed Japan." Born in Japan and a Japanese historian at Harvard, Reischauer served as American ambassador to Tokyo in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Strange to say, since the end of the Cold War in 1991 and particularly under the administration of George W. Bush, the United States has been doing everything in its power to encourage and even accelerate Japanese rearmament.

Such a development promotes hostility between China and Japan, the two superpowers of East Asia, sabotages possible peaceful solutions in those two problem areas, Taiwan and North Korea, left over from the Chinese and Korean civil wars, and lays the foundation for a possible future Sino-American conflict that the United States would almost surely lose. It is unclear whether the ideologues and war lovers of Washington understand what they are unleashing -- a possible confrontation between the world's fastest growing industrial economy, China, and the world's second most productive, albeit declining, economy, Japan, one which the United States would have both caused and in which it might well be consumed.

Let me make clear that in East Asia we are not talking about a little regime-change war of the sort that Bush and Cheney advocate. [1] After all, the most salient characteristic of international relations during the last century was the inability of the rich, established powers - Great Britain and the United States -- to adjust peacefully to the emergence of new centers of power in Germany, Japan, and Russia. The result was two exceedingly bloody world wars, a forty-five-year-long Cold War between Russia and the "West," and innumerable wars of national liberation (such as the quarter-century long one in Vietnam) against the arrogance and racism of European, American, and Japanese imperialism and colonialism.

The major question for the twenty-first century is whether this fateful inability to adjust to changes in the global power-structure can be overcome. Thus far the signs are negative. Can the United States and Japan, today's versions of rich, established powers, adjust to the reemergence of China -- the world's oldest, continuously extant civilization -- this time as a modern superpower? Or is China's ascendancy to be marked by yet another world war, when the pretensions of European civilization in its U.S. and Japanese projections are finally put to rest? That is what is at stake.

JPRI Working Paper No. 105


Government Man
13 Feb 2005
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That article is very critical, but also very close to the truth. I think the boneheads in Washington need to get their heads out of their asses if they want the United States to stay in the position that it's in.


A.A. Lee

15 Apr 2005
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I doubt President Bush will continue his war games anymore because the army is low on recruits. Nobody wants to fight the rich man's war. We are already pressed in Iraq since we're so short staff and recruits. Americans used to join the army and navy to see the world or earn money for college, but now it's turning into a major commitement, perhaps even a life threatening decision, and few people are attracted to this option now even with handsome incentives.

The one thing that is certain is that America is on the decline. We have too much debt now. Americans don't save money and our government just fritters it away. More money leaves the country than comes in. The interest rates are so low and our money is worth less and less. Few countries and foreign interests will want to invest in our markets. And China is still on the up, so it looks like we won't be the only superpower one day...


tsuyaku o tsukete kudasai
19 Jan 2005
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thanks to the US constitution Bush wont be in office after the next election, who knows, maybe theres some hope.

as for a third world war, nukes are doing a good job of keeping everyones trigger finger ni check ,after all, no matter how greedy someone seems, nobody seems quite ready for the total anihilation of the human race.
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