Conflict in Asia: Korea, China-Taiwan, and India-Pakistan: Korea, China-Taiwan and India-Pakistan

Scoring the Asia Operating Environment
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Against the backdrop of rising regional tensions, the reunified Korea would be reluctant for American military assets in their territory to be used against China in a Taiwan contingency.

Important Alliances and Bilateral Relations in Asia

Much of the world reaped a peace dividend with the end of the Cold War, yet Asia has seen little reduction in tensions and military spending. Three Cold War era conflicts-those dividing China and Taiwan, North and South Korea, and India and. Conflict in Asia: Korea, China-Taiwan, and India-Pakistan [Uk Heo, Shale A. Horowitz] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Much of the world.

Similar to South Korea, in the short term Japan would see significant economic devastation. Unlike reunified Korea, which would probably look to hedge their bets between China and the United States, Japan would likely wish to solidify its alliance with Washington — to protect against both China as well as a resurgent Korea. Moreover, Japan and China have long engaged in a quiet diplomatic and economic competition for influence throughout the Indo-Pacific, and as both nations become more active abroad, their agendas will increasingly clash. Tokyo will continue to have a strong interest in ensuring the de facto independence of Taiwan. The populations of both countries hold very favorable impressions of one another as indicated in two recent surveys , with a significant volume of bilateral trade.

Conflict in Asia

Finally, Japan fully recognizes that in a Taiwan scenario, China would likely not hesitate to strike at American assets based on Japanese soil — whether or not the Japanese actively join. Japan would almost certainly view a Chinese attack on American assets in their nation as an act of war. Out of all the regional powers, Taipei would likely be the only player to emerge physically unscathed from a Korean conflict. Both Korea and Japan would seek to expand their unofficial relationship with Taiwan, as both powers would seek to balance against the Chinese desire for hegemony in East Asia.

The Taiwan Strait After a Second Korean War

Moreover, Taiwan would also increase military spending, in a continuation of current trends. All of these actions would be heavily opposed by China, and would significantly increase tensions in the region. The unpredictability of the Kim regime and its drive for nuclear weapons is widely acknowledged to be the greatest threat to regional peace in Asia today.

This development, combined with the fall of the Islamic State, has rapidly focused the attention of US foreign policy on Korea. A change in U. The U. There has been comparatively little focus on potential medium- to long-term post-war scenarios, and how that may affect U. Eric Chan is an international affairs specialist for the U.

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Air Force, with a focus on Chinese political and security issues. Peter Loftus is a U. The opinions expressed here are those of the authors alone and do not represent the views of the Department of Defense or the U.

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This is a useful question to ask before plunging into the intricacies of the conflicts. There are three major theoretical schools in international relations, the traditional ones of neorealism and neoliberalism, and a more radical variant of neoliberalism, constructivism.

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In a framework of rational choice and strategic interaction, it will be shown that these schools tend to focus on different sources of change and conflict. The insights of all the frameworks will then be applied to the China-Taiwan, Korean and India-Pakistan conflicts. The focus will be on explaining recent developments, especially after the Cold War, and on constructing plausible scenarios of future developments.

It will be seen that constructivism has much to add to the more familiar insights of neorealism and neoliberalism. Neorealism tends to view identities and preferences as relatively similar and unchanging, and to emphasize how objective conditions, such as military power, influence states' foreign policy strategies. Neoliberalism places more emphasis on diversity of identities and preferences, which it views as strongly influenced by political regime type.

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However, over the long term, the end result would likely be an East Asia with fewer mitigating factors to a conflict between the United States and China. The worst of the flashpoints would likely be the original Asian security crisis, the Taiwan Strait.

Even with the devastation of a new Korean War, the United States would almost certainly come to the aid of Taiwan if a cross-strait conflict were to occur, especially with PRC provocation. The White House has signaled the traditional U. More recently Tsai was permitted to stop in Hawaii on a tour of the islands of the Pacific.

This has been coupled with a historically pro-Taiwan U. Congress and a vocal Taiwan lobby, both of which have remained undiminished due to continued hamfisted Chinese attempts at global public influence. The expected U. What would change would be how these assets would be positioned; instead of a concentration in South Korea, there would likely be re-deployment across the entire Asia-Pacific, significantly complicating Chinese military targeting and worrying Chinese political leadership.

Under President Xi Jinping, Chinese political leadership is in its most centralized state since the days of Mao. While this allows for expedited decision-making, the personalization of rule creates an overriding imperative for Xi to avoid disorder and the perception of having backed down on the world stage.

These interrelated factors would come into play in the chaos following the fall of the Kim regime, which would be the most significant domestic and foreign policy challenge for the Chinese Communist Party since the Tiananmen Square massacre. The most immediate concern would be millions of North Korean refugees streaming into China, causing extremely negative consequences for the population of Northeast China. This severe socio-economic disruption would certainly lead to an aggravation of relations between the United States, China, and the newly unified Korea, especially if Chinese leadership felt that an aggressive U.

Beijing would be occupied for a time by internal and external disorder resulting from a war in Korea, but after overcoming one of its most severe geopolitical nightmares, China would likely emerge more confident and confrontational. These tensions would reflect on the China-Taiwan relationship.

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Under Xi, China has already taken a harder line against Taiwan, due to a perceived shift in economic strength. The fall of the Kim regime and reunification along South Korean lines would drastically reconfigure Korean foreign policy. Over several decades, a reunified and economically resurgent post-conflict Korea would mean a country of 75 million with a significantly larger economic base to compete globally. An apt historical corollary would be that of Germany following the reunification of the East and West in In the European example, a larger economic base and political heft allowed Berlin to become the predominant power in the European Union, fundamentally altering the economic and political balance of the European community.

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If Asian countries are sincerely interested in strengthening peace and creating a favorable environment for development, they should seek to resolve existing disputes through fixed time negotiations or arbitration, instituting confidence-building measures to avoid unintended escalation of incidents and minor wars, engage in serious negotiations to resolve outstanding disputes, and institute mechanisms to enable peaceful change, accepting the emergence of new nations or states through constitutional means. Richard C. Millions of Muslims living in India and Hindus and Sikhs living in Pakistan emigrated in one of the most colossal transfers of population in the modern era. A subsequent military coup in Pakistan that overturned the democratically elected Nawaz Sharif government in October of the same year also proved a setback to relations. In , China occupied Aksai Chin , the north-eastern region bordering Ladakh. Consequently, their relationship has been plagued by hostility and suspicion.