Conclusion: The Pacific War and the Future of East Asia
During a visit to China in 2007, the chief of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Timothy J. Keating, was approached by a senior Chinese naval officer, who began striking up a conversation with him while a discussion on aircraft carrier technology was going on between officers of both navies. According to the Indian Express, the unnamed Chinese officer made a startling suggestion: that the “US take Hawaii East,” while China would “take Hawaii West and the Indian Ocean.” Through such an arrangement the US would “not need to come to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean,” and likewise China would “not need to go to the Eastern Pacific.” The Chinese naval officer concluded his remark by saying, “If anything happens” on the US side of the Pacific they could let the Chinese know, and similarly “if something happens” on the Chinese side, they would let the Americans know.1 Although Keating claims that the suggestion was made to a certain extent “tongue in cheek,”2 after having reviewed the history of Japan-US relations in the preceding chapter, the reader, however, may have just experienced an uneasy feeling of déjà vu. While the true intent behind this conspiratorial-sounding Chinese proposal is difficult to discern, its implication of dividing the Pacific into spheres of influence arguably brings back memories of the so-called Amo Doctrine of 1934 mentioned previously.
KeywordsEast Asia Region Asian Development Bank Military Spending Historical Analogy Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank
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