Major power conflict brewing in Asia?
April 16th, 2014
02:55 PM ET

Major power conflict brewing in Asia?

International attention might currently be focused on Crimea and eastern Ukraine, but does another territorial dispute involving a major power, this one in the South China Sea, also have the potential to flare up into full-blown conflict?

Robert D. Kaplan, chief geopolitical analyst for Stratfor and author of Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific, will be taking readers’ questions about China’s regional claims, its relations with its Southeast Asian neighbors, tensions with Japan, and the prospects for conflict between East Asia’s two major powers.

Please leave your questions in the comments section below.

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soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. ✠RZ✠

    Why don't Governments have a "Department of Defence" to defend their nation and a "Department of Offence" for attacking others?

    April 16, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  2. GOP Prayer

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    April 16, 2014 at 9:42 pm | Reply
    • bobcat2u

      Amen

      April 17, 2014 at 11:19 am | Reply
  3. chrissy

    Lol @ RZ, you do come up with some good ones doncha! Sad really that there is so MUCH attacking others though isnt it?

    April 16, 2014 at 9:49 pm | Reply
    • ✠RZ✠

      It only makes sense having to fight for your country and your freedom. But be careful not to let your patriotism be duped by those in Washington to becoming little more of their private mercenary force.

      April 17, 2014 at 7:30 am | Reply
  4. S. DeBoer

    Mr. Kaplan, do you think the PRC's slowing growth will encourage greater boldness in territorial claims? It seems to me the CCP's domestic legitimacy, which was previously defined by economic might, is being increasingly defined by nationalism ("China Dream"). What is your take? Thank you for taking our questions.

    April 16, 2014 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  5. Kenny Rogers

    Yep chrissy. I hate my Mac attack. Makes me wanna eat.

    April 16, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  6. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    April 16, 2014 at 11:19 pm | Reply
    • Zach

      There is no such thing as an innocent muslim, John. A good muslim, is a pepperoni pizza stuffed muslim.

      April 17, 2014 at 5:08 am | Reply
    • PieterT

      You have some of your facts wrong. It was the Iraqis that invaded Iran starting that war and the reason so many lives were lost is because both sides used mustard gas on each other as you have no respect for human life. The Iraqis also used this against there own people. As far as the US invading 60 countries since WW2 I would love to see your proof. It is less than half that and some were to help other nations that had been invaded such as Kuwait, Grenada,etc. As far as shooting down civilian aircraft. Just off the top of my head I can remember The US, Russia, China and North Korea have all done the same . Just to finish up here. Our debt has come down since Obama has taken office and will continue that way as long as we can keep the war mongering and profiteering republicans out of the oval office. Iran is lucky we haven't started bombing you yet. Keep up your ways and we will wipe you off the map.

      April 20, 2014 at 10:53 am | Reply
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    With USA citizens' attention being directed to a global perspective, let us not forget to discuss the "meaning" of the removal of "obscure" words from our children's SATs.
    The capitulation to movements that seek to lower our educational standards will affect the USA much more adversely than the "meaning" of Israel or China's tea prices ever could.

    April 17, 2014 at 2:14 am | Reply
  8. Henry Nguyen

    . At the present and given the disparity of populations and economies between China and Russia, why does the Russian control of Crimea, Ukraine (3 millions people, less than 50,000 square miles and a popular vote) matter and being punished for as compared to Chinese control of the South China Sea (50% of global maritime traffics, 2.5 millions square miles, 100% vote from dozen literal countries...) without a lift of US finger?
    . Long-term, given both countries are difficult clients and possess very different world-order viewpoints, values... does it not seem reasonable for the US to consider China (1.3 billion population and 500 millions residing elsewhere, 8 trillions economy and double in 15 years) strategically, the only danger worthy of Russian alliance push?

    April 17, 2014 at 9:59 am | Reply
  9. chrissy

    Well thats what ive been sayin @ RZ. The US military has NOT been fighting for freedom and our country for quite some time! They've been fighting for greedy, corrupt politicians! And the only ones in this country that have benefitted from those military efforts are the warmongering clowns in DC and THEIR special interest groups!

    April 17, 2014 at 10:21 am | Reply
  10. palintwit

    The producers of DWTS told Bristol Palin she could appear on the show again but she has to lose 400 lbs. first.

    April 17, 2014 at 11:04 am | Reply
  11. Christopher

    Mr. Kaplan: I'm an international relations graduate student in San Diego who studied this situation in the fall when China extended its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to many of these islands. I also noted how on some islands China appears to have been using a "salami-slicing" strategy of sending commercial vessels into the disputed territories followed by its paramilitary maritime law enforcement to protect them in order to create "a new normal" in these areas where China has de facto control. Yet, only recently has China obtained an aircraft carrier, but it doesn't seem ready to directly challenge US influence. U.S. military planes regularly violate the EEZ and countries like the Philippines are going to the international courts to resolve the dispute, against China's best wishes. My question is this: does China really have the capabilities to extend its influence over the South China Sea in a meaningful way or is this just bluster on China's part to appease its domestic audience?

    April 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  12. HONG KONG

    With HONG KONG in British hands, the West would have a position in Asia, that would contribute to peace, stability and global business. USA, in particular, Washington DC, can not be all about 'losing'.

    April 18, 2014 at 6:29 am | Reply
  13. j. von hettlingen

    Mr. Kaplan, how substantial can historical claims be? They are usually raised by stronger nations against weaker ones. It doesn't help if the International Court of Justice is called upon to resolve a territorial dispute. Some parties refuse to acknowledge the ruling. What to do?

    April 18, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply
  14. chrissy

    @ Pieter it was a Civilian IRAN air flight 655 and it WAS shot down by the US!!!! So it is YOU who have your facts wrong! And EVERYONE is lucky that NO ONE has started bombing ANYONE! Think about it cuz in the instance of nuclear bombs crap just wont be confined to rolling DOWNHILL it will roll EVERYWHERE, including here!!!! As far as Iran so far THEIR ways have been shown to be the least provoking of all!

    April 20, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  15. Frank

    Hi Kevin I agree with your last point. However, it is just a fact that the grading you refer to is very often regarded as and communicated as a lesson observation grade

    April 22, 2014 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  16. Ed

    It seems clear that the CCP through its control of Chinese media, and even by what street demonstrations are actually not suppressed, is not a passive observer, but an active instigator in the rise of nationalism in China. Do you agree that nationalism is instigated by the Chinese government, and if so, what can the US do to mitigate its harmful influence in the region?

    April 22, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Reply

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