The development of international relations in Asia is a questionone of the questions that attractsthe close attention of many political scientists, especially at the a time when China is increasing es its economic and military capacity.. This paper is aimed aims.to analyze.USE ACTIVE VOICEat analyzing the ideas expressed by David Kang in his article Getting Asia Wrong: The Need for New Analytical Frameworks.
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Overall, Tthis author points out that researchers should not overlook the cultural and historical legacies that affect the interactions between Asian states (Kang 58).. The main premise of hisOne of his arguments is that conventional models and approaches used by Western political scientists are not relevant to Asian geopolitics because these frameworks are mostly Euro-centric.Their uncritical application can lead to the misinterpretation of various geopolitical interactions between Asian states.
Additionally, this scholarresearchernotes that the concerns about the risks of military instability in Asia are not justified (Kang 58). since Asian countries are not likely to rely on the principles of power politics. Additionally, these statesare not likely to counter-balance a potential superpower like China..The effort of China to resolve regional disputes in recent years is one reason that her neighbors may be more likely to hop on China’s bandwagon.
More likely, they will bandwagon with this country. Overall,Iit is possible to argue that David Kang is quite right in assertingrguing that geopolitical relationspolitics in Asia can differ significantly from significantly Western international relations.
Yet, while this scholar describes the interactions between various countries as a deterministic process (.In other words, suggesting that the events will unfold as determined by the circumstances present beforehand), he does not take into account the possibility that policy-makers can make take irrational decisions.
Additionally, some of the data that he provides ishave become out-of-date. In many cases, this information does not reflect current geopolitical strategies of Asian states. As one example, the recent execution of the North Korean leader’s uncle may signal something significant regarding that nation’s relations with its neighbors and the rest of the world.
The inevitable swift obsolescence of information about the region is one of the main limitations of this piece.Overall, Kang’s analysis provides what may be a healthy reminder that the study of international relations is subject to the same need to evolve beyond Euro-centrism that has characterized other social science disciplines, such as anthropology and history, over the last decades. These are the main limitations that can be identified.
The author provides a number of strong examples to support his viewpoint. From his perspective, there are no overwhelming signals of impending destabilizationamong Asian countries. It should be noted that the author provides various examples to support his viewpoint. From his perspective, there is no reason why international relations withinin Asia would becan be destabilized.
For instance, the author relies on the historical examples, according to which the economic strength growth of China has been associated with concurrent political stability in the greater Asia region (Kang 68).. To some a great extent, this argument implies that this country has the capacity to reduce potential conflicts between other states and act as an arbiter (Kang 58).
Kang points out, as an example of the way that China’s neighbors respond to China’s increasing economic significance, the apparent choice by Japan to eschew confrontation with China. As evidence of Japan’s continuing strategy, Kang in his Figure 1 demonstrates how low the level of military expenditure was relative to total gross domestic product in Japan in 1999 (Kang 76).
Kang notes that this policy has persisted despite Japan possessing the resources to arm themselves up to the level of major military powers (Kang74). While reminding readers that rearmament has a special, painful historical significance for Japan, Kang suggests that “Japan does not fear for its survival, and accepts the centrality of China in regional politics” (Kang 77), Such reluctance to create barriers to Chinese growth, may reflect self-interest.
Japan has expanding investments in China, and a 27 billion dolllar trade deficitAdditionally, other Asian countries such as Japan are not willing to prevent the country from growing. More likely, they want to benefit from this growth. This is why they bring foreign direct investment in the country (Kang 69).To a great extentThus,current trends of increasing Chinese growth and power are mutuallybeneficialfor Japan and its neighbor(Kang 69).
For Kang, this mutual benefit of regional economic relations minimizes the likelihood of military confrontation.This argument is partly based on the hypothesis, according to which economic relations minimize the risk of military confrontation.
Kang’s conjecture, however,is not congruent with the observation of some historians, who remind readers that the strong economic interdependence between the European nations of Germany, England, France and Russia did not prevent the outbreak of World War IYet, historians often critique this conjecture; for instance, they mention that before citing conditions beforeWorld War I, when Germany had strong economic ties with England, France, and Russia.
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However, but these states neverthelesseventually became the major rivals (Levy and Thompson 761998). With regard to the increasing contacts between nations globally, Brawley notes that close connections can actually generate more causes for conflict, although such conflict becomes more expensive, presumablydue to disruptions in commerce (Brawley 67).
Economic partners often entered in military confrontationsthat proved to be catastrophic for them (Brawley 67). Thus, Kang’s confidence in the effectiveness of economic interdependence as a preserver of peace and stability in the region is in opposition to some events in the history of European countries in the last hundred years.Therefore, economic interdependence cannot always safeguard peace and stability in a region.
Additionally, David Kang argues that Japan, at least, has not sought to achieve the title and role of superpower in the current era, even though they have the resources to achieve this goal. Kang notes, as evidence that Japan does not aspire to possession of intercontinental missiles or nuclear weapons (Kang 75).
Kang’s explanation is that Japan at present is a “status quo secondarypower” and content to remain, in spite of imperial ambitions it evinced in the 20th century, so long as there is stability (Kang 77) Additionally, David Kang argues thatAsian countries do not try to gain the title of a superpower, even though they haveeconomic opportunities to achieve this goal. In particular, the scholar mentions Japan that does not aspire to have intercontinental missiles or nuclear weapons (Kang 75).
Kang suggests that Japan places more value on maintenance of order in the area than on China as a threat (Kang 77).To some degree, the government of this country does not perceive China as a threat.Kang goes further, and asks the reader to consider the possibility of Japan siding with China if the USA were at some point to ask Japan to take sides against their neighbor.
Under such circumstances, Kang suggests that Japan could align with their powerful neighbor instead of with its distant ally the USA (encumbered with a history of intermittent losses of enthusiasm)(Kang 78). It would have been helpful to have a simliarly detailed analysis of the relationship of some other countries to China and to each other in the region.However, this argument is not fully convincing because David Kang does not mention other countries that can affect geopolitical relations in Asia.
While Kang does discuss the various political interests in the region, suggesting overall that Asian countries may be less likely to enter into military confrontations (Kang 79), he does not discuss non-state entities in depth. These entities could be a significant additional element in the stability of the area, no matter how economically linked it becomes, since, asBrooks and Wohlforth suggest that economic interdependence may have little effect on non-state agents(Brooks & Wohlforth, 102).
The persistent impact of a non-state entity such as Al-Qaeda suggests that analysts do not yet have the tools to predict the behavior of groups.Additionally, there are a number of states in the area that have nuclear capability (Cimbala 48). Other states in the region have nuclear ambitions, for example, North Korea. For example,Russiahas the capacity to counter-balance China because this state has a nuclear triad(Cimbala 48).
David Kang’s discussion of various geopolitical interestsis supposed to show that various Asian countries are not likely to enter into military confrontations. However, one should not suppose that the development of international relations can be described in a deterministic way. It is not possible to predict the way in which different international actors respond to potential risks or threats.
Furthermore, as the scholarly study of the events of Cold War has suggested, political leaders, policy makers, and the people who elevate them to power,cannot be depended upon to behave rationally1. Furthermore, one should not suppose that policy-makers always act only in a rational way(Robin 66). . Therefore, the probability of geopolitical conflicts in the future cannot be completely eliminated.. This is one of the arguments that can be put forward.
Additionally, some political scientists do not take for granted the willingness of other Asian countries to hop on China’s bandwagon. For example, John Mearsheimer believes that some of the other Asian countries could form an anti-China coalition. Additionally, some political scientists do not take it for granted that Asian countries will be willing to bandwagon with China.
For example, John Mearsheimer believes that there are some countries, which can form the anti-China coalition(Mearsheimer 162((Measmeiher 162).In his view, China’scontinued insistence on its rights to Taiwanwill continue to be one source of conflict. Mearsheimer views China’s rise as inevitably accompanied by animosity and strained relations (Mearsheimer 160-162)
Taiwan can become a possible opponent of China, especially if the United States offers its support (MearsheimerMeasmeiher 162).There is not, however, any unanimous prediction of military conflict involving China and other Asian countriesNevertheless, the critics of David Kang’s ideasdo not describe a possible scenario that can eventually lead to a military conflict involving China and other Asian countries.
David Kang believes that China’s growth does not threaten the security of other countries. The author notes that this country has been able to resolve its territorial disputes without using coercion recently (Kang 68). For example, the country has been able to settle possible territorial conflicts with Pakistan, Kazakhstan, or Russia. Moreover, in many cases, it has been willing to reach compromises with other states.
These examples also indicate that the country does position itself as a militarily naggressive empire.. However, it is important to remember that Chinese rhetoric could can change significantly, if it achieves significant economic and military power. Political scientists warn of speak about the risk of Chinese revisionism that could will manifest itself at a the time when economic and military resources increase (Legro 515).
Legro suggests that the doctrines of China’s leaders could be as important in shaping China’s behavior as its interdependence with its neighbors and other powers. It is quite possible that in the future, Chinese strategies couldan become more aggressive.One cannot assume that China will always maintain the status quo (Johnston 515). This is another risk that international relations scholars should consider.should be taken into account by policy-makers.
Thus, one can say that the qualitative assessment offered by the author can give rise to many debates.On the one hand, his examples show the complexity of the relations between nations geopolitics in Asia.David Kang demonstrates that conventional model of power politics (based on the European experience),may not be suitable for describing the interactions between Asian states.
The main limitation of this evaluation is that he describes international relations as a process which are amenable to analysiscan be easily analyzed or whose outcome is amenable to predictionpredicted. The main problem is that in many cases,geopolitical behavior decisionsproves to be chaotic and unpredictable. This is one of the major challenges that scholars should take into account in their assessment of the Asian regionshould be taken account by political scientists who focus on Asian geopolitics.
Furthermore, David Kangprovides quantitative data in support for his arguments regarding international relations scholarshiprelies on quantitative data while making arguments about international relations in Asia. In particular, the author focuses on the military spending of different states, since this indicator can throw light on long-term intentions of political leaders. The writer compares at the data collected in 1985 and 1999 (Kang 76).
This comparison suggests that the countries Kang includes are not willing to spend more on their military capacity. These results may be attributable to can be partly explained by the fact that after the end of the Cold War, many states chose to decrease their military expenditures (Sutton, Morgen, and Novkov 6).At that time, many policy-makers did not believe that there were continuing had been threats to the national security of their countries.
Nevertheless, it is vital to remember that these data reflect the situation were collected fifteen years 15 years ago and since that time, the situation could have changed dramatically. For instance, one can mention that during the last decade, military spending has dramatically increased in Asia (other than in Japan, which, as Kang notes, has maintained spending at a very low level) (Kang 76). The following chart can eloquently illustrate this trend.
Source: Shah, 2012, Fig. 3
Thus, this chart suggests that military growth of Asia has not completely slowed down.On the contrary,this suggests that Asian countries are quite willing to make investments in their military capacity.This trend could persist into the future.This trend is very likely to persist in the future.
To illustrate this argument, it is helpful to examine the policies of individual states. This argument can be illustrated by looking the policies of separate states.For example, in 2007, China increased its spending by more than 17 percent. Similarly, other countries in the region, including even like Japan, have responded to this decision.
Therefore, it is wise to consider that Asian countries may wish to increase their competitiveness, including via military capacity expansionone should keep in mind that Asian countries want to increase their competitiveness, and they try to do it by focusing on their military capacity.
Admittedly, they may try to benefit from Chinese successgrowth in the future. However, the evidence of the decision by several neighboring nations to increase military preparedness suggests continued caution and concert over a growing Chinese hegemony, but at some point, they can become very concerned about the growing Chinese hegemony.
Additionally the military budget of a country is can be measurableed in different ways. For example, one can look at this figure as a percentage of the annual GDP. If one adopts this approach, the military expenditures of China remain relatively unchanged. However, it is critical to keep in mind that Chinese GDP, itself, has grown significantly during the previous decade (“The US-China power balance”).
Thus, in concert with this GDP increase, In turn, its military budget has also increased (“The US-China power balance”). These data hint at how much importance China attaches to its military capacity.It is possible to look at the charts that show that the government of China attaches much importance to its military capacity.
“The US-China power balance”, 2009, Fig. 4
Therefore, any the arguments about the peacefulness of China require evaluation that is more criticalshould be evaluated more critically. Certainly, Surely,the increasing military expenditures are can be vieviewable wed merelyonly as a way to deter hypothetical aggression. Deterrence is a strategy used by many countries, including the USA.
This is one of the strategies that many countries often use.However, it would be less than wise to assume that China or any other Asian nation will never use their military strength to achieve national objectives.Nevertheless, it is impermissible to think that this country may never use military strengths as one of the ways for achieving geopolitical objectives.Moreover, one should pay close attention to such a tendencies such asy as the continuing global increase in military expenditures.
This increase overall has persisted in spite of the recent recession. It has also shifted in weight from the USA and Western Europe to Asia, although USA expenditures are at least three times that of its nearest competitor, China. (Shah unpaged). As Kenneth Waltz points out, no true ‘world wars’ have resulted from the massive, and nuclear, arming of nations since the Cold War.
However, it is disheartening to note that the world does not seem more secure right now, after all that past investment in armament.This situation was typical of the time when the Cold War antipathies were very strong.
A current increase in military expenditures could turn competition into confrontation in the Asian region, where territorial disputes, cultural conflict, and religious partisanship all co-exist.Such a trend can eventually lead to geopolitical instability in various regions of the world, including Asia which countries have to compete with one another.This is a risk that scholars should not overlook.This is one of the main risks that should not be overlooked by researchers.
Apart from that, the rapid economic growth of China can provide the government of thatis country with the resources an opportunityto adopt a more aggressive stance toward various geopolitical issues. In 2003, aAt the time, when David Kang wrote his article,China’sthis growthof this country was only beginning to accelerate. I, and it was not universally perceived as a dire threat by political scientists. In his article, David Kang mentions the willingness of at Japanese businesses are willing to invest into Chinese companies.
However, at present, the government of Japan recognizes its increasing trade deficit with China,Chinaand the negative effect of this situation on Japan’s yen (Obe unpaged). Iand in the future, this issue couldcan become a potential cause of conflict between these states. The following chart shows that Chinese exports to Japan haves increased significantly since 2007.
Source: Allen, 2012, Fig. 1
Therefore, one cannot say that the economic growth of China will always seem be perceived as something beneficial toby other Asian countries. In the future, it could trigger discomfort and conflict.can become a cause of many conflicts.Moreover, it is critical to remember that there are sources of strong opposition between individual Asian nations Asian people may be strongly opposed to one another.
For example, Japan and South Korea can perceive North Korea as an enemy, while China can offer support to this totalitarian state. This is one of the reasons why in some Asian states, many people have an unfavorable view of China. Moreover, such views are particularly widespread in Japan.. In fact, this country is can be perceived as a potential enemy by the majority of citizens.. The following chart can throw light on the anti-Chinese sentiment in Asia.
Source: “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of China?”,” 2012, Fig.1
Opinion of China
Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of China?
Percent responding Favorable (2013)
(Source: “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of China?”, 2012, Fig.1)
This is quite different from the figures that Kang cites from a decade ago. He references figures of 21.3 % of Japanese identifying China as a threat at that time (Kang 78). Compare that with 5% regarding China favorably in 2013. Even though these surveys are probably not directly comparable, this is a notable change.
Certainly, such antipathies do not always manifest themselves at the geopolitical level. However, these sentiments can affect the attitudes and decisions of policy-makers. ThusSo, this is afactor that can undermine political stability in Asia. Again, one cannot assume that political leaders always act in a purely only in a rational way.
In many cases, the weight that they accord to the positive and negative consequences of their decisions seems indecipherable to scholars. The recent dramatic North Korean execution of Kim Jong Un’s uncle comes to mind as an example. Such y do not accurately weigh the positive and negative consequences of their decisions. This is one of the points that can be made.This uncertainty issue is critical to include in considering international relations in this regionfor understanding various geopolitical or civic conflicts.
Thus, qQuantitative data is also necessary for understanding the arguments that the author puts forward. The examples presented here, which have been examined, do not completely undermine the validity of David Kang’s views on international relations in Asia. Nevertheless, they also show that the situation may beis much more dynamic that the author believes.
Factors such recent and continuing rapid growth, and continued official support for enterprise, suggest that One can say that China could will inevitably become the major player in the Asian region.
Nevertheless, it is rather difficult to predict the future reactions of other countries, which could express hostility to China and turn to the USA for military and economic backing, or align themselves with their powerful neighbor in an effort to maintain order and stability in the area. that may eventually become hostile to China and ask the United States for military and economic support.
David Kang’s article provides a useful overview of international relations in the Asian region. The major contribution of this article is to plead for skepticism on the part of scholars and observers of the old Euro-centric approaches and assumptions regarding the way that nations behave. On the whole, one can say that David Kang provides an overview of the international relations in Asia. This is in line with the urgings of for a move away from exclusive Euro-centrism in other disciplines, as well.
The success, over the last several decades, of a moderate and reasonable reorientation of perspective from Euro-centrism tothe rest of the globe suggests that Kang is justified in urging that this evolution occur in international relations as well. The historical and cultural context of Asian nations is different enough to prompt a consideration of this region’s nations on their own terms rather than in model of countries on the other side of the world.
The main strength of his arguments is that the author describes the way in which cultural and historical context can shape the relations between various Asian states. Furthermore, this scholar is quite justified in criticizing the Eurocentric approach to the study of geopolitics in Asia.Kang’s argument that China’s growth in power can occur peacefully is convincing. Additionally, he makes a good case for the reluctance of neighboring nations to confront China.
However, he is perhaps overly dependent on a deterministic view of history. Moreover, he convincingly demonstrates that the growth of China can be peaceful. Certainly, the risk of confrontation in Asia is quite low. However, his arguments are largely based on a deterministic perception of history.
Perhaps the strongest drawback of his argument is that the data are now a decade old. In that decade, China has grown massively economically and militarily. Furthermore, the quantitative data presented by David Kang were collected at the time, when China only began to grow as an economic and military superpower. It is now in line for consideration as a superpower.
Whether China or the nations around it behave as scholars expect, the Asian region is an area of the world that demands closer attention than has ever been accorded it in the most recent century. If for no other reason, Kang’s article reminds readers that the balance of importance in the world is altering and that scholarship must follow this trend or be left behind, and be less than relevant.
However, at this point, many policy-makers are much more concerned about the role of China in international politics.This is one of the main limitations that should be considered.Certainly, it is not possible to discuss Asian region only from the perspective of power politics. Still, the risk of possible confrontations should not be disregarded.
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1 Harold Lasswell, cited by Robin, asserted that, “a rational evaluation of events has little to do with the dynamics of politics” (Robin 66).