THE COMING CONFLICT
The Korea Times, June 24, 2012
China and the United States seem to be heading toward a course of conflict. These two mega-powers of the world have now become global rivals. Their relations are tense; their interests are in conflict; and they face tougher times ahead.
Just decades ago, in the mid-1980s, these two giant nations saw each other as strategic partners, both interested in an alliance of necessity with the other to prevent the domination of Asia by the Soviet Union. However, the collapse of the Soviet Union has removed the rationale for the 20 years of close cooperation between the two countries.
By the mid-1990s, a trans-Pacific contest for power and influence between a still-dominant America and a fast-growing China began to dominate the relationship.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in her speech at a seminar in Honolulu on Jan. 12, 2010, declared that "the U.S. is back in Asia to stay." It was interpreted that the U.S. government was reviewing and updating maritime security priorities in Asia and would strive to keep critical military and commercial sea lanes open and secure for its vessels and those of its allies while denying usage of Asian sea lanes by adversaries in time of conflict.
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