Repeating the tired old anti-China rhetoric of the Asian giant threatening Western values, stealing US jobs and technology, committing “genocide” against its ethnic minorities, reneging on its commitment to the “one country, two systems” stance in Hong Kong, threatening Taiwan and a host of other “evil” deeds, the newly installed US administration held an inaugural head-of-state meeting with its Quadrilateral Security Dialogue partners – Australia, India and Japan – a couple of weeks ago.
Many analysts interpreted the meeting as the first step toward forming an “Asian NATO,” a formal military alliance to counter China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
The four members of the Quad are the US, Japan, India and Australia.
Japan has no economic or geopolitical reasons to confront China. On the contrary, it actually needs China to pull its economy out of the decades-long deflationary spiral now made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic and an aging and declining population. Indeed, it is the Chinese market, serving both as the maker and consumer of Japanese products, that has been largely responsible for preventing Japan from sinking deeper into the hole.
Indeed, it could be argued that the US was largely responsible for Japan’s economic and geopolitical malaise. Forcing Japan to sign the Plaza Accord in 1985, under which the country had to appreciate the yen and agree to restrict exports, caused the Japanese economy to decline, because it was hugely export-dependent.
Japan’s economic demise accelerated, in part, because of crippling US tariffs of up to 100% and flawed financial policies that allowed banks to make risky real-estate loans. Läs artikel