Major Power Relations in Northeast Asia

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Major Power Relations in Northeast Asia

By Robert A. Scalapino
University Press of America/New York: The Asia Society, 1987
92 pp. $15.50
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This monograph is an excellent analysis of the bilateral relations among the principal powers in Northeast Asia-the United States, Japan, the Soviet Union and China. There is a well-balanced discussion of U.S.-Japanese trade frictions. On Sino-Soviet relations, the author maintains that even if the Soviets make some tactical military withdrawals on the Chinese border, an ineradicable suspicion of long-term Chinese intentions will remain. Soviet leaders are convinced that once the P.R.C. possesses sufficient military power to sustain bold foreign policies, China will want to be recognized as the preeminent nation of Asia and will seek to redress old grievances-by force, if necessary. The Soviets hope that a coalition of Asian countries-they have spoken hopefully of an alignment composed of India, Indonesia and Vietnam-will help counter the Chinese threat, but this alignment seems remote now. The conclusion is that Moscow will not significantly reduce its large forces along the Chinese border as long as it retains the vision of a resurgent China in the next century.

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