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Game of Thrones
Eyeing China, India and Japan Vow Closer Military Ties

Look out, China: your two biggest rivals in Asia are growing closer together. The Japanese defense minister, Itsunori Onodera, on a multi-day trip to India, had a warm and sympathetic conversation with his counterpart in Delhi today. The Times of India reports:

With an eye firmly on China, India and Japan on Monday decided to “further consolidate and strengthen their strategic and global partnership” in the defence arena through measures ranging from regular joint combat exercises and military exchanges to cooperation in anti-piracy, maritime security and counter-terrorism.”…

An unnamed official elaborated: “The two ministers extensively and frankly exchanged ideas regarding regional and global security challenges, as well as bilateral defence cooperation and exchanges. They shared views on issues relating to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region,” said an official.

The meeting comes amid warming military ties between China’s two biggest rivals. During the coming year, Japan and India will hold their fourth Defence Policy Dialogue, third “2 plus 2” Dialogue, and third joint naval exercise. Japan will play host to the Indian defense minister, and the two ministers have said they hope for deeper cooperation between their air forces.

No doubt some policy-makers in Beijing are annoyed. Late last month China announced it would loan Pakistan $6.5 billion (a large chunk of the $9.6 billion total price tag) for two new nuclear power reactors in Karachi that will be built by—you guessed it—Chinese companies. In the future, as China and Pakistan grow closer to form a strategic hedge against India (and the US), expect India to deepen cooperation with China’s rivals like Japan and Vietnam.

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  • Anthony

    Orientalism may still color interpretation of pursuits in Pacific region (and Southeast Asia). Nevertheless, power politics as viewed by China’s neighbors (Japan, India, et al) warrant keeping eye on both China’s rise and CCP (foreign policy mandarins and national security establishment) so deeper cooperation could be a consequence.

  • Pete

    China is hemmed in.

  • rheddles

    They have really proven to be a bull.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Nothing proves the incompetence of the Obama Administration like the failure to take advantage of opportunities engendered by Chinese Belligerence. Despite the so called “Asian Pivot” where is the Asian economic and military alliance which would enhance the American hegemony and economy.

    • Anthony

      The U.S. (Obama Administration) has been pushing an eleven-nation Trans Pacific Partnership but Asians nations chose trade bloc that, unlike U.S.’s, invites China – NY Times Asia Pacific. ASEAN governments have negotiated regional comprehensive economic partnership exclusive of United States.

  • Bretzky1

    Even if China’s rise were as peaceful as China’s leaders were claiming it would be a decade ago, there’d probably still be a coming together of India and Japan over security issues simply as a hedge against future Chinese belligerence. Not to have done so would have been negligent on the part of India’s and Japan’s leaders, especially India since they’ve already been the victim of Chinese aggression.

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