The situation in East Asia in 2014 is uncomfortably similar to that of Europe in 1914. A rising power, then Germany, now China, resentful of past humiliations and looking for a place in the sun, seeks to change the status quo by asserting itself. Established powers (France, Japan) seek to maintain their position and fear what a world dominated by the rising power might do to them, while the superpower (UK, US) hopes that matters can be resolved without its direct intervention.Sponsored Ads
The chances of any given dispute in East Asia turning into a military confrontation are probably not large – but neither are the chances that any of them will be resolved peacefully in the near future. So for peace to continue in the region each dispute has to be contained, and all accidents leading to conflict avoided, all the time. The cumulative risk of armed conflict is not negligible.