SEOUL – Whether East Asia’s politicians and pundits like it or not, the region’s current international relations are more akin to 19th-century European balance-of-power politics than to the stable Europe of today.
Witness East Asia’s rising nationalism, territorial disputes, and lack of effective institutional mechanisms for security cooperation. While economic interdependence among China, Japan, South Korea and the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations continues to deepen, their diplomatic relations are as burdened by rivalry and mistrust as relations among European countries were in the decades prior to World War I.
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