The shifting triangle: Sino-Japanese-American relations in stressful times

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7 Scopus citations


The September 2010 collision between a Chinese fishing boat and a Japanese coast guard ship showed the ambiguities in American policy on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. On the one hand, Washington has said that it takes no position on the sovereignty of the islands; on the other, it is bound by the terms of the US-Japan security treaty to defend the islands. In a larger context, the incident highlighted a geopolitical dilemma for Japan: how to position itself between a rising China and a United States that seems to be in a state of decline. China, on the rise, seems to be testing its role with regard to the other two powers. The United States, which also sees itself in decline, is asking similar questions. The waxing and waning power of Russia exerts additional counter-pressures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-426
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Contemporary China
Issue number75
StatePublished - May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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