Comments on Seungjoo Lee "The politics of Asian integration", 13/07/2014
It is pity that Asia, particularly East Asia has not moved to a much more closer institutional framework to reflect its underlying economic integration or links. While it is understandable that Asia including East Asia, is more diverse than Western Europe and North America, every country, particular the bigger ones, must overcome historical legacies and difficulties to look forward to a new, more dynamic, more prosperous and more closely integrated Asia, so every country can benefit much more from it.
As I have remarked somewhere else before, the major countries in Asia, particularly China and Japan, need to be more creative in handling its bilateral relationships.
For any country or countries, the aspiration to be a global leader must start with an effective, constructive and inspirational regional leader first. Without being a good regional leader, it is impossible to become a global leader.
Both China and Japan, even though Japan is a US ally and China may face from time to time an attempt of containment by the US, must reflect on their strategic relationship and approaches with each other and come up with a better strategy to make Asia as a more integrated region economically, politically and from security point of view.
They have a greater responsibility in leading Asia.
For China, more confident and assertiveness should not be aggressiveness and being perceived as bully from a bigger brother. It need to pay attention to its leadership style. And it must approach territory issues/disputes with some other countries from a regional and global leadership point of view and to resolve those issues under international laws. If there are difficulties and or ambiguities with international laws, it should seek a solution peacefully, more creatively and more constructively with other parties.
For Japan, it will probably serve its interests much better if it acts independently as opposed to using and relying its ally with the US in dealing with China and being a partner of the US's China attainment. It will simply not work and will damage its own interests more than China's.