Dec 18, 2007

North Asia Strategic Balance Gets More Interesting

Japan's successful destruction of a mid-range ballistic missile in space adds to the complexity of the strategic equation in North Asia. While the headlines suggest that this is designed to both protect against and send messages to Winston Peters' new best friends (most are shorter than he is) in North Korea, the real message being sent to Beijing. It is also the natural extension of the US decision ssome years ago to sell Aegis (sea based anti- ballistic missile technology) to Japan.

Why should we be interested in this??

Most obviously it might cause Winston's mates to do something silly.

More generally the US, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong are immediately involved, and Australia (up until Rudd anyway) was indirectly a participant. Australia is our biggest economic partner followed by the US, China, and Japan. Jump the UK, then you get to the ROK. Skip Germany, then comes Taiwan. Hong Kong is not far behind.

We have critical interests at stake. Peace and stability is best for our interests. Anything that disrupts the balance should be analysed closely.