Determining East Asia’s Future

Determining East Asia’s Future

Determining East Asia’s Future © RIA Novosti. Edward Pesov

By Alexei Pilko, RussiaProfile.org special for RIA Novosti

The United States and China Swapping Taiwan for North Korea Will Ultimately Benefit the Russian Federation

It would seem at first glance that the deterrence infrastructure the United States created during the Cold War is up to the task of controlling the Pacific and limiting China’s potential spheres of action and influence to the mainland. But China’s economic growth is slowly translating into increased military capability and is, in the process, creating serious problems for the United States.

China’s pressure on the United States (its simultaneous rival and partner) will only continue to mount. The current strategic status quo in the Pacific Region is not at all suited to China’s national interests, depriving it of free access to the ocean and placing its military activity essentially under U.S. control. Taiwan, legally part of China, is the most vulnerable link in the U.S. deterrence system. Its reunification with mainland China will give Beijing free and uncontrollable access to the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to its military and strategic significance, Taiwan is also very important to China for economic and political reasons. A unification of their gold and foreign currency reserves alone would greatly strengthen China’s standing in the global economy. A unification of the two Chinas under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party would mean that China could talk of having attained a crucial historical goal and, of course, would also guarantee it major political dividends.

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