Challenges Facing the East Asia Region
a) Competing interests of China and Japan
The polities, economies and the populations of East Asia are all dependent on the competing strategic interests of China and Japan, which pose a challenge to individual states within the region (IISS, 2014). This challenge has been aggravated by the security factors as well as the competition for territories amongst the two superpowers in the region such as the control over certain islands and parts of the sea (Feigenbaum, 2015). For example, Japan has made attempts at being the major player in the region in terms of security and the management of contested regions such as the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and the South China Sea. Moreover, the perceived closeness to the United States as is the case of Japan as opposed to China has further brought challenges in the determination of the geopolitical positioning of nations in the East Asia region.
The above point implies that that the assertive reaction of China to the regional security of the East Asia region coupled with Japan’s nationalism in foreign policy has had an enduring effect on the neighboring nations, hence worsening the situation in region. For example, the Philippines and Vietnam as other players in the East Asia region have sided with Japan in the handling of the territorial issues with regard to the contested islands and sea territories. Apart from the above two dominant players, the major players in this region that derive their influence from them are North Korea and South Korea. ...Show more