February 28th, 2013
09:22 AM ET

The challenge from China

By Fareed Zakaria

Secretary of State John Kerry’s first foreign trip is an impressive swing through nine countries in Europe and the Middle East.

But I wonder if he should instead have visited just two countries, China and Japan. That’s where the most significant and dangerous new developments in international relations are unfolding. The world’s second- and third-largest economies have been jostling for months over territory, reviving ugly historical memories and making clear that, in the event of a crisis, neither side will back down. Trade between the two countries — which usually hovers around $350 billion a year — is down substantially. An accident, miscalculation or unforeseen event could easily spiral out of control.

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Topics: Uncategorized

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. MobileJAL

    I just hope that China understands that the US federal government is trying very hard to achieve global stability.

    February 28, 2013 at 10:38 am | Reply
  2. Natalia

    Global stability can be achieved only. if US government tells Chinese, that they are NO welcome in Western World, that they need better understand the West, and that violence is not the right way.

    February 28, 2013 at 11:45 am | Reply
  3. Chukwuemeka

    Fareed i love this piece. But i beg to disagree. The middle east is more important because of the oil reserves in that region and its potential to have a far reaching consequence on the economy of the world. Imagine most countries being faced with economic difficulties now having to face fuel shortage as a result of war and unrest in the middle east. It is better imagined than experienced. Therefore in my opinion John Kerry is on point by travelling to that region.

    February 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  4. j. von hettlingen

    Fareed, Kerry has set his new agenda in Foggy Bottom. On top of it is the Middle East: Palestinian conflict, Syrian civil war and the nuclear dispute with Iran. Actually his first trip abroad is to the Middle East and he made stops in some European capitals: London Paris, Rome and Ankara before a tour of the Middle Eastern cities including Cairo, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh. He needs European support to deal with the opposition in Syria, which at first wanted to boycot the meeting in Rom. The Middle East peace talks will be one of his top priorities. He warned that the possibility of the Palestinians getting their own state could soon be lost for ever – and it would be a disaster.

    February 28, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      No doubt Kerry will deal with China and Ja pan respectively. Perhaps he might have better luck with China than Hillary Clinton.

      February 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Reply

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