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China-Japan-U.S. Relations

Meeting New Challenges

By Morton I. Abramowitz, Yoichi Funabashi, and Jisi Wang

Recent events in Asia-Pacific underline the pivotal importance of the China-Japan-U.S. relationship for the future evolution of the region. In an important follow-up to their path-breaking 1996 assessment, China-Japan-US: Managing the Trilateral Relationship, the three original co-authors review the underlying challenges confronting the development of this “vital triangle.” Recent developments—notably, the accidental bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Taiwan’s apparent moves toward greater independence, Japanese displeasure at President Clinton’s failure to visit Tokyo after his trip to China, Japan’s decision to pursue R&D on theater missile defense, and China’s heavy-handed use of its historical grievances with Japan—have made management of the trilateral relationship even more challenging. Yet, the basic imperatives for deeper cooperation remain essentially unchanged. Continuing uncertainties on the Korean peninsula, recent nuclear developments in South Asia, political instabilities in Southeast Asia, and a general weakening of regional institutions in the wake of the Asian financial crisis require basic cooperation between China, Japan, and the United States. This volume offers indispensable insights on the evolving complexities of the China-Japan-U.S. relationship.

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