Full text issue A Triannual E-Journal on East Asian Bilateral Relations

Brad Glosserman, Carl Baker
Content Type
Journal Article
Comparative Connections
Issue Number
Publication Date
January 2014
Center for Strategic and International Studies
No abstract is available.
Bilateral Relations
Political Geography
Washington, East Asia
2013 ended with a series of self - inflicted wounds. President Obama, with a huge assist from the US Congress, reinforced apprehensions about the US commitment to the region - not to mention concerns about Washington's inability to get its act together–by skipping both the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting. Setting an unreachable yearend goal to finalize the economic foundation of the pivot–the Trans - Pacific Partnership (TPP) – was another in the series. So too was President Xi Jinping's decision, just prior to Vice President Biden's trip to China, Japan, and Korea, to announce China's East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone encompassing territory claimed by both US allies. China's promise of more ADIZs to come raised concerns (and increased calls for greater US involvement) from nations bordering the South China Sea as well. Not to be left out, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo closed out the year by visiting Yasukuni Shrine, further alienating Beijing and Seoul while drawing a rare rebuke from Washington as well. How much this will impact his "go south" policy to build better relations with ASEAN remains unclear. North Korea's regent Jang Song Thaek saw his career go to the dogs – at least figuratively – due to alleged greed and other criminal acts (like not applauding his nephew vigorously enough). However his final wound was inflicted, many fear that the prospect for Chinese - style reform in North Korea died with him.