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PacNet #41 A-R – Mr. Pacific: Don’t ignore regional middle powers

In PacNet 41A, ‘Mr. Pacific’ adheres to a narrow view of power politics. He makes a sketchy argument about a new kind of great power relations, identified as a ‘rebalance of power,’ but provides little explanation of how this could deal with the rise of China. The author outlines what the US might seek to achieve in the Indo-Pacific (or Asia-Pacific) region, but his focus is limited to US interests, and gives us no idea of how US policies in this region can be distinguished from those in any other part of the world. Asia is undergoing a comprehensive transition in which entirely new power relations are emerging. The rebalance of power that the author advocates is just an attempt to prop up the status quo, an approach that is inadequate to those of us living in Asia.