Beijing could win over S Korea if US sides with Japan on E China Sea


A symposium on the tension between the United States, China and Japan in the East China Sea was held in Taipei on Friday, according to our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.

At the forum Taiwanese scholars said the US has sided with Japan in the region, forcing South Korea to ally with China as a result, the paper said.

Seoul is unhappy with Japan’s attempt to include the right to exercise collective self-defense in the amendment of the Guidelines for Japan-US Defense Cooperation that were published recently. Although the attempt won support from the US, Australia, Philippines and other Asia-Pacific allies, South Korea has been less than thrilled about it, due to its previous colonization by Japan.

The amendment of the guidelines adds China and terrorism to the list of main threats that has included North Korea since the guidelines were developed in 1997.

It will be difficult for the US to persuade South Korea to support Japan in expanding its role in the security of East Asia. The US has often sided with Japan when it comes to disputes between Japan and South Korea and China may take advantage of this to gain South Korean support, said Ho Szu-shen, head of the Center for Japan Studies at the College of Foreign Languages at Fu Jen Catholic University.

Tokyo considers China’s rapid emergence as an immediate threat to Japan, so the latter has been attempting to include the right to collective self-defense in the guidelines in case of emergencies such as China using non-regular military means to occupy the disputed Diaoyutai islands, which Japan administers as the Senkaku, said Kuo Yu-jen, CEO of the Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies at National Sun Yat-sen University.


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