East Asia and the great power coalitions: an analysis of regional developments in 1981

by Richard H. Solomon

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While 1981 saw no major upheavals in East Asia, the year did see developments in America's relations with key Asian states which placed in some jeopardy the future U.S. position in the region. Primary among these was the deterioration in the China relationship due to conflict over the issue of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. A second reason was the heightening of tensions in relations with Japan due to a large trade imbalance and limited Japanese defense spending. Section II of this paper discusses the growing Soviet military presence in the Far East and its implications for regional security. Section III provides a review of U.S.-China policy. Section IV looks at the future of U.S.-Japan relations. Section V surveys the relationships of the two Koreas with each other and the United States. Section VI discusses developments in and with the ASEAN countries, and Section VII provides a summary of developments in U.S. relations with East Asian nations as well as a look at what the future may hold in this region.

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