many believe that the us, by going inward and isolationist under president trump, has ceded southeast asia to china. rule of the seas, free trade agreements, financial control . . all going to china.
i’m not so sure.
i believe the us has ceded her role to japan, not china.
the us has been the main restraint on china’s aggressive and expansive ambition, and now that responsibility has shifted to japan.
we know that japanese prime minister shinzō abe has consolidated his power. he now controls two thirds of the diet. we can guess from his statements and policies that he wants japan to end its era of concession to the west, coming from the loss of world war ii and represented in a policy that japan’s military is to be used only for defense. perhaps that means he may decide the military should occupy some islands, too, like china. or assertively bomb north korean missile installations if north korea keeps firing their nuke-capable missiles over japan.