The quest for understanding East Asian politics compelled earlier philosophers to focus on political economy and political culture in their explanations, but this approach left the study of political systems, in East Asia, underdeveloped, which allowed the emergence of new and current approaches.
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The new approaches focus on the changes, characteristics, and future expectations of East Asian governance. In addition, the new approaches explain the nature of unipolar powers, “especially in the one-party regime, one-man rule, and the oligarchical unipolar system” (Yung-Myung, 2003, p. 45).
The political elites dominated the political unipolar systems, which gradually changed to plural democracy and authoritarianism triggered by diminished revolutionary zeal and growth of civic society. The viewing of East Asian, as an independent sphere and the only determinant of global stability, limited the approaches of both political economy and political culture.
Theoretical approaches in the study of East Asian security
For the last fifteen years before 2008, both Taiwan and East Asia experienced a deteriorating relationship although there was economic independence. In 1990, there seemed to be a political reconciliation, but the continued misunderstanding and differences in political objectives and future political prospects aggravated deterioration of the close relationship between the two regions (Hayes, 2001, p. 274).
The two sides feared political challenge of their central interest by each other. For instance, Beijing feared Taipei would shut the door on its quest for unification and Taipei, on the other hand, feared that Beijing would restrain it to the point that negotiations on China’s terms would become inevitable (Hayes, 2001, p. 274).
The approach used here involved the assertion of sovereignty and protection of interest by each state. In this case, Taiwan asserted its sovereignty and expanded its international space while Beijing developed and improved its military capacity enabling enforcement of diplomatic quarantine to Taipei.
The wrong turn of events against what the United States expected caused considerable worry, in Washington, because the two sides would ignore the United States’ appeal for the cessation of restrains and conflicts.
Yung-Myung observes “…the failure of the United States appeal for peace would entrap the United States in a war with China” (2003, p. 50). This fear of the appeal failure led to the application of the dual deterrence security approach in which the United States conveyed both warnings and reassurance to Beijing and Taipei.
New features of Asian security
In the post Cold War, the United States focuses and approaches Asian security from a regional perspective a symposium on East Asian security. In this recent approach, defense officials, senior military officers, and policy makers engaged in peaceful security discussion and negotiations between the opposing nations.
The symposium “strengthens bonds among military and security professionals, allowing them to share perspectives on counter-terrorism and other security issues of importance to their nations” (Hayes, 2001, p. 275).
This feature of regional security ensures promotion of tighter security cooperation, and quick identification of security threats affecting the entire regional security, which is different from what happened during the Cold War whereby, there was no cooperation of nations regarding regional security.
Another feature of the post-Cold War is the unveiling of the Warsaw pact in which Europe and East-West Asian military stopped confrontation. The nations opted for continued bilateral military alliance of the United States with Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines (Hayes, 2001, p. 279).
Moreover, the United States and Japan share strategic plans against china, which was not the case during the Cold War era. The recent China’s strategic trajectory strategy threatens the national security of both Japan and the United States.
US foreign policy
The US views China as a revisionist power interested in building and developing military capacity, for its own interest, in order to challenge the status quo in the regions of East Asia, and thus the US opposes the move.
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To counter the effects of China’s strategy, the United States proposes to deploy and enhance US Pacific Command (Yung-Myung, 2003, p. 47). The adoption of this United States’ policy helps to diffuse the political insecurity and the threat posed by China to the East Asian countries.
In addition, the perception of China to have an escalating annual expenditure on defense weapon development, including nuclear weapons, causes the United States of America to increase extra strategic counter pressure to China.
Adoption of the United States’ policy of pressurizing China to reduce it annual funding, on the manufacturing of nuclear weapons, helps in reducing the superiority of China among the East Asian countries, thus promoting peace in the East Asian region.
Role of the United States in the region
Being a super power, in the region the United States helps in regulation of development of nuclear weapons in such countries as China which if not checked could lead to an increased security threat. United States in the East Asian region advocates for peaceful dispute resolution through peaceful discussions between the warring countries.
For instance, Hayes argues, “Washington, D.C. has no stake in the substance of whatever resolution might occur. Process is what is essential” (2001, p. 285). In this case, the United States places a role in peace negotiation among nations of the East Asian region.
Politics of many nations, in East Asia, revolve around the Cold War, and future political prospects of these nations depend on the post-Cold War strategies to end conflicts and encourage economic growth and development.
Although many philosophers and scholar perceive global stability and peace as dependent on peace and security development in East Asian region, peace and security in other regions of the world also determine global stability and security and thus US as a super power strives to appeal and mediate peace negotiations between warring nations of the world.
Hayes, L. (2001). Introduction to Japanese Politics. New York, NY: Paragon House Press.
Yung-Myung, K. (2003). Understanding East Asian Political Systems. Journal of East Asian Studies, 3(1), 45-50.