pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

Issues & Insights Vol. 06 – No. 08

Few relationships are as complex and as confusing as the one that includes the United States, China, and Japan. The three countries interact on virtually every level and have shared interests and objectives across a range of concerns. They relate to each other as individual nations and within the various dyads: the U.S. and Japan deal with China through their alliance; Tokyo and Beijing eye Washington as their own relationship continues its downward spiral, and Tokyo has historically worried about its place when the U.S. and China build better relations. Stabilizing that triangle is a source of considerable concern among foreign policy specialists.