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Asian International Politics and Military Conflicts

Economic Development and Military Alliance (Cold War Japan)

The Cold War mentality of Japan was that of strengthening ties with Western powers to contain other Asian emerging powers. More specifically, Japan was of the opinion that once it strengthened its ties with America, they would collectively contain the emerging economic threat of China. In this manner, the Japan defense forces have been able to share important military responsibility with the US because both countries seek to gain from the merger. Japan seeks to modernize its military equipment while the US sees Japan as its core partner in its Asian strategy (People’s Daily 4).

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Japan is also trying to entrench itself in the politics of global security while at the same time trying to increase its dominance within the Asian continent. In this manner, Japan has also adopted military cooperation to amass more economic resources so that it can become a strong military and political entity in the Asian continent (Le Prestre 94).

Also jointly, Japan and America have both regarded China and other countries in the Korean peninsular as of strategic importance to their economic security. In the same regard, the two forces are aligning themselves to counter any form of armed conflict which may arise in the wider Asian region. All these efforts are therefore aimed at strengthening Japan and American interests in Asia and their military cooperation has been properly aligned to counter any Asian resistance in the continent.

Economic Development and Military Alliance (Post Cold War China)

China has over the past few years tried to divert most of its resources towards economic development but the US’s constant aggression and provocation have often prompted the Asian nation to ally with Russia (which is also experiencing the same threats) to counter Western domination. This pressure has therefore reverted China’s efforts of economic empowerment to military empowerment. The motivation to strengthen military ties with Russia is therefore necessitated by Beijing’s efforts to oppose America’s efforts of hegemonizing Russian and China. As it engages in this effort, China seeks to stamp its authority in the wider Asian continent as a strong economic and political entity.

However, amid the growth of China’s power in the Asian continent, other Asian powers like Japan are finding it increasingly difficult to accept china’s dominance and are therefore merging with other powers like the US (which also shares the same views) to contain China’s Asian growing influence. China has also been able to amass nuclear armory in periods after the cold war and the US finds this a great threat to global security while other Asian powers look at it as an important Asian security risk. Majorly, this significant increase in China’s superiority is aimed at safeguarding its economic interests in the Asian continent and more so, its newly found energy supply with Africa and the Middle East (Darius 7).

Nationalism in the Soviet Union

The Soviet empire began disintegrating into independent states in the late 19th century. The Soviet empire was build at the expense of important economic and social developments thereby preempting constant failed attempts to nationalize the empire (Dobell 32). In 1991, the Soviet empire went bankrupt and democratization took place. Consequently, the level of nationalism in the empire greatly increased among various citizens of different nationalities.

The Bolshevik government was of the opinion that for nationalism to prosper, all the states had to dissolve into one, in alignment with the Marxist Leninist theory but in contrast to the bourgeois theory (Michailovich 3). However, this opinion quickly changed after they noted that nationalism could potentially cause a revolution in the state and therefore the government later supported the notion of self-determination of the states. The level of nationalism also greatly increased after the Second World War when the then leader of the Soviet Union, Josef Stalin, tried to instill the unique qualities of the Soviet Union among its nationals.

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The national anthem was made to emphasize the role of great Russia in the formation of the Soviet Union and all leaders of the different states started pledging allegiance to Moscow. In this manner, state legitimacy was achieved. Nationalism reached its peak after undesirable nationalities started to be deported to far-flung areas like Kazakhstan. More notable was the revolution against the Russian Jews because they were thought to be more sympathetic to Western ideals and after accusations and counter-accusation of the plot by Jewish doctors to poison most communist leaders, most of them were deported.

The British Empire and Nationalism

Nationalism in the British Empire increased after the collapse of the British Empire in the 20th century (Winks 47). The collapse of the empire especially saw a lot of immigrant trends from people in the former British colonies after the Second World War. Many British parties opposed this trend on nationalistic grounds. The UK especially opposed the collapse of the British Empire and advocated for an exclusion from the European alliance to entrench British nationalist movements and preserve the British culture (Frost 3).

The level of racial segregation that later followed the collapse of the empire shows how nationalism started to take root in Britain. People were made to think on nationalistic grounds and therefore opposed efforts to diffuse the British heritage and allow immigrants in Britain altogether. State legitimacy was therefore achieved to a significant degree.

Lack of Conflict in Northeast Asia

Relations in North-East Asia have been prehistorically sour and tensions always characterize the relations between Japan, Korea, and China as the major players in Northeast Asia politics. However, these tensions have not resulted in conflicts between the countries, in the past recent decades, partly because of the economic bilateral relations Japan and Korea have and the positions both countries share in international politics. In this respect, Korea, Japan, and China have realized the need to forge forward by disregarding their history and creating a mutual understanding among themselves (Hyeon-Jeong 5).

There is also the discovery that historical conflicts shared between warring nations in the Northeast Asia region bear a lot of weight on the security of the world. More specifically is the arms conflict between the nations and the allegations and counter-allegations of a nuclear arms race among the nations. It is therefore correct to note that many of the countries in the Northeast Asia region have a lot of significance on world security and this is what the American government and the UN have in the past tried to contain because a conflict in Northeast Asia would be quite disastrous not only to the Asian continent but to the world at large

Conflict in South Asia

Military escalation in South Asia is primarily brought about by the accumulation of nuclear arsenal in most South Asian superpowers. This military escalation is a way of maintaining military balance among most states experiencing conflict. However, if the level of military escalation goes to unprecedented levels, it may become too dangerous in case a conflict erupts.

The level of military balance is especially important if peace is to be realized because if states are armed in military means to an equal degree, they are bound to respect each other, but in the case of Pakistan and India, there is a huge imbalance of military power and so Pakistan has always felt the need to retaliate upon the military invasion of India into Pakistan. Moreover, the conflict in South Asia is predominantly characterized by religious extremism which made the conflict take an unrelenting nature of military provocations.

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On an international front, the conflict in South Asia has been predominantly existent for a long because there has been a very minimal international intervention unlike the case of Northeast Asia. This was especially evident when the Pakistan government claimed that most of its insurgencies were not comprised of its military, but its freedom fighters (Krepon 19). This provided a cover to deter international intervention.

This also means that the conflict in South Asia is more of a liberalization conflict with a religious connotation as opposed to an economic war (Smith 3). Such kind of conflicts always drags for a very long time before peace is attained. Certain parts of the world that have a similar kind of conflict have also experienced endless types of war such as the Sudan Darfur region, Israel, and Lebanon conflicts among others. A different strategy, therefore, needs to be adopted to end such kind of conflicts.


Asian politics is primarily characterized by political and economic superiority battles between dominant nations in the region. This has often been validated by military domination and most states which feel under threat have been observed to merge with Western powers that share their interests. Nonetheless, these superiority battles are expected to be diffused by globalization pressures in the coming decades.

Works Cited

Darius, Mahdi. Global Military Alliance. 2010. Web.

Dobell, Peter. The Changing Soviet Union: implications for Canada and the World. Ontario: James Lorimer & Company, 1991.

Frost, Martin. British Nationalism. 2010. Web.

Hyeon-Jeong, Lee. One Step towards a History of Truth and Reconciliation. 2010.

Krepon, Michael. The Perils of Proliferation in South Asia. 2010. Web.

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Le Prestre, Philippe. Role Quests in the Post-Cold War Era: Foreign Policies in Transition. London: McGill-Queen’s Press – MQUP, 1997.

Michailovich, Anatoly. After The USSR: Ethnicity, Nationalism and Politics In The Commonwealth of Independent States. Wisconsin: Univ of Wisconsin Press, 1995.

People’s Daily. US Japan’s Military Alliance Reflects Cold War Mentality. 2005.

Smith, Bardwell. Religion and Social Conflict in South Asia. London: BRILL, 1976.

Winks, Robin. The Oxford History of the British Empire: Historiography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

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