The line in the water that divides East Asia into rival alliances has been widened and deepened in the past few weeks, largely due to the eruption of anti-Japanese emotions in China and anti-American outbursts in South Korea.
This line runs from the sea between Japan and Korea south through the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait into the South China Sea. To the east are the United States, Japan and Taiwan, which are allied by treaty or political commitment. To the west are China, North Korea and South Korea, with China seeking to turn the two Koreas into vassals like their ancient kingdom many centuries ago.
The fundamental issue is which alliance will prevail in East Asia: the autocratic coalition led by China that seeks to drive the United States from the region or the democratic grouping led by the United States that seeks a stable balance of political and military power in which trade and economic development flourishes.
At the moment, Beijing and its allies in Pyongyang and Seoul, which seems on the verge of dissolving its security ties with the United States in favor of sliding into an orbit around China, appear to have the upper hand....
Read the whole thing here. Much of the analysis I have seen in the press -- usually citing State Department sources -- simply does not address the fact that China's long term goal is to establish a hegemony over East Asia, and that this goal cannot be achieved until US influence has been driven from the area. This situation is looming as our next great security threat and we had better start paying attention, or as Halloran puts it: "the Chinese alliance will continue to overshadow the U.S.-Japan-Taiwan coalition unless Washington, Tokyo and Taipei get their act together."
There's a new China blog on the block [hat tip Wretchard] -- Check out Naruwan Formosa here.