The real news in Asian politics yesterday, the kind of thing that will likely show up in the history books, was a quiet meeting announced by the State Department. If you missed it, it’s because people didn’t cover it much, but for the first time ever, India, Japan, and the US held a round of trilateral talks on the future of Asia and the strategic picture. The session, reads a State Department media release, “mark[s] the beginning of a series of consultations among our three governments, who share common values and interests across the Asia-Pacific and the globe”. These three powers aren’t an alliance; the US and Japan have a treaty of alliance, but India remains non-aligned — and has no plans to change. This is an entente, not an alliance. It is a community that rests on common concerns and common views about important developments — but ententes are important. This one in particular (which besides the Big Three also includes important regional presences like Australia, Vietnam, Singapore and others) may play a bigger role in US foreign policy than NATO as time moves on.That last comment ought to make the story important to us as well.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Media misses big story
Well, OK, that headline comes close to dog bites man or supermodel takes drugs but it is instructive to find this sort of goings on across the Pond as well. Walter Russell Meade points out that the biggest story in Asian politics in the last few days was not, as it happens, the death of Dear Leader Kim Jong-il but something far more important.