Hawks Ascend to Power in Asia

Japan and South Korea underwent leadership changes this week, which means all four of North Asia’s major powers now have different leaders in office since this time last year. As these nations undergo leadership transitions, they’re also jockeying for position in a shifting world order, which places China in a dominant role.

Japan’s new premier is the grandson of a World War II minister who helped run Japanese-occupied Manchuria, and who later tried to abolish the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution. China is now ruled by the son of a Communist Chinese revolutionary hero—who was a close comrade of Chairman Mao. And both Koreas are now in the hands of descendants of Cold War dictators. Continue reading

Regime security, not national security, is dominant priority in Beijing and Moscow

If a breakout of the escalating Syrian conflict or an Israel/U.S. military attempt to halt Iran’s progress toward nuclear weapons sets off even a 200-day regional conflict, it would be catastrophic for the Chinese economy.

Han Xiaoping, chief information officer of the China Energy Resources Net, recently warned China’s estimated reserve of only 110 million barrels would last only 46 days if there were a Persian Gulf closure. China’s dependence upon imported crude is far greater than the United States’ with some 40 percent coming from the Gulf. But only a declining 11 percent actually comes from Iran, the rest from the Arab states now unsuccessfully lobbying China to help defuse the Syrian timebomb and halt Iran’s nukes.

Full article: Regime security, not national security, is dominant priority in Beijing and Moscow (World Tribune)