Until recently, Japan was a country where national law forbade it from using war as a way to settle international disputes. The Philippines was on the U.S. piracy list. Indonesia was a neutral country. And no U.S. president had visited Malaysia in 48 years.
All of this has now changed, as President Barack Obama wrapped up his visit to Asia—Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and South Korea. A coalition of Asian countries is now forming under the U.S. military’s new focus on Asia, and with it new economic agreements, a rekindling of foreign relations, and the unraveling of tensions, which have historically divided the region.
China is not part of this coalition, however. This is due to the fact that through growing aggression, China has of late made itself the enemy of nearly all its neighboring countries. In the last year, the actions of the last communist empire have unraveled the image Chinese authorities have been trying to build for decades.
“What happened is China abandoned its ‘peaceful rise,’” said Edward Luttwak, an author who has served as a consultant for several U.S. government entities, including the Secretary of Defense, State Department, and the National Security Council.