Japan, Australia, and the rejigging of Asia-Pacific alliances

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    Certain fundamentals of the geopolitical frame of inter-state relations in East Asia remain as set around 70-years ago in the wake of the cataclysmic Second World War and subsequent San Francisco Treaty (1951), when the US was undisputed master of the world, China divided and excluded, Korea divided and at war, and Japan occupied. The economic underpinnings of that system, however, are now rudely shaken. The United States, in 1950, with about half of global GDP, is now 16 per cent (in �purchasing power parity� or PPP terms) while China, already (2016) 18 per cent, has grown by an astounding fifteen times in the two decades from 1995. Chinese GDP, one-quarter that of Japan�s in 1991, trebled (or even quadrupled) it in 2018. Late in 2020 the IMF declared that China had become the world�s biggest economy, $24.2 trillion to the US�s $20.8 trillion, with the gap widening. The alliance system as a design to preserve US hegemony looks increasingly incongruous in a period of mounting US-China conflict.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    JournalThe Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
    Issue number22
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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