With China on mind, Japan pushes quad dialogue with India, US & Australia

With China’s President Xi Jinping promising to making China a major global power at the country’s twice-in-a-decade Party Congress, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has said that his country would soon propose a top-level security dialogue with the US, India and Australia on board.

Speaking to The Nikkei daily, he said that the “idea is for the leaders of the four nations to promote free trade and defence cooperation across a stretch of ocean from the South China Sea, across the Indian Ocean and all the way to Africa”. “We are in an era when Japan has to exert itself diplomatically by drawing a big strategic picture,” Mr. Kono said.

The daily reported that the foreign minister said that he had already had a brief discussion on the same with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on the sidelines of a foreign ministers meet in Manila two months back.

“Free and open seas will benefit all countries, including China and its Belt and Road Initiative,” he said, adding that dismantling North Korea’s missile programme will also focus prominently in the talks. Recently, expressing the US’s evolving view on China’s ambitious project, Mr. Tillerson had expressed concerns over China’s predatory economics and its not-so-responsible rise.

Read More

China’s V-Day and Contest for Power in East Asia: Indian response

India is keenly watching the unfolding dramatic events in East Asia as these not only have a bearing on its recent “Act East” policy, but also on regional stability issues. At stake are not merely half of Indian trade, major investments, markets, technology flows that transit through this region but also the subtle messages of power transition between China and Japan in the short and medium term.
China is celebrating the “V-J [Victory over Japan] Day” on September 3 with a massive Beijing military parade. It is also the first time that Beijing would be inviting armed forces from abroad to participate in a national event and also the first time President Xi Jinping will be organising such an event. The previous military parade was several years ago on the 60th national day in October 2009.
today the increasing contest between powers in the region – as reflected in the rising nationalism and right-wing sentiments, higher defence allocations, military modernization and outreach – have contributed to spirals of tension.

Read More