Singapore Expresses Concern About Sino-Japanese Tensions

Jonathan Pollack of the Brookings Institution tries to answer the question of why China seems so willing to tolerate North Korean misbehavior.

“The Kim dynasty intends to keep China in the dark as fully as it can. Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping, voice periodic frustration with North Korea, but none seems able or willing to translate Pyongyang’s ever increasing economic dependence on China into meaningful influence,” Pollack writes.

He continues that China is “not prepared to impose conditions on its isolated, troublesome neighbor, much less undertake a larger reassessment of its policies,” except when it comes to China’s own interest in “its promotion of closer ties with Seoul. South Korea’s trade with China now exceeds $250 billion, more than the South’s combined trade with Japan and the United States.”

Singapore has voiced its concern that the dispute between China and Japan over the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea. Speaking at a conference, Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said he feared that a “miscalculation” could have real consequences if tensions are now lowered.

Bloomberg News reports that he also addressed the military buildup in Japan by saying that they will “have to do more to assure its neighbors, especially as it seeks a strong Japan with greater military capabilities.”

Quick Hits:

Mark Duowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies asks: If Iran is feeling the pressure of sanctions, why is their economy showing signs of improvement?

Derek Scissors of the American Enterprise Institute looks at the penetration of the US market by Chinese investors.

Christian Science Monitor looks at the French intervention in Mali one year later and finds progress, but a long road ahead.









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