As an Australian, currently living in China and who has lived in Japan, I was very impressed with the June 5 editorial, “Avoid the security dilemma in Asia.” Here in China, we are constantly informed of any military developments in Taiwan, Japan, the United States or the two Koreas.

With the recent U.S.-Australia-Japan agreement, I couldn’t help but feel a little caught in the crossfire. No matter how much the government here tries to convey the policy of peaceful development and harmony with its neighbors, there always arises suspicion regarding its military spending.

The editorial captures the reality quite well in stating that failing to appreciate another country’s insecurity, while reaffirming one’s own insecurity about that country, is self-defeating for the vision of lasting peace in the region.

I just wonder how North Koreans feel when they see or hear governments and their ministers constantly talking about how their country is regarded as a rogue, needing to be controlled, etc. Wouldn’t this make them more likely to invest in military capabilities? Will all of the Aegis-equipped destroyers being bought and sold in the region really improve or worsen security?

This “right-to-arms” mentality doesn’t seem to work too well domestically in the U.S. Should we then think it is going to work on a greater scale cross-culturally in North Asia?

brendan worrel

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