Friday 15 Oct 2021 | 04:51 | SYDNEY
Friday 15 Oct 2021 | 04:51 | SYDNEY

East Asia forgotten alliance


Malcolm Cook

17 November 2009 14:25

I have just come from a session on regional security architecture. There was much discussion about the role of the US alliances in East Asia, with the standard criticism from Chinese and Southeast Asian participants that these alliances are exclusive, outdated, backward-looking, needing to be phased out and even potentially destabilising to the region's potential for harmonious mutlilateralism. 

Strangely, no mention was made of the other exclusive, historically-based, potentially outdated and destablising alliance, that between the People's Republic of China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. This is despite the fact that the DPRK is the most threatening state in the region and that the alliance contributes to the PRC's diplomatic cover for the DPRK.

Seems to me there is a dangerous and intellectually unsustainable double standard at work here.

Photo by Flickr user Wolfgang Wildner, used under a Creative Commons license.