This week, U.S. President Barack Obama is visiting Asia to meet U.S. allies and assure them of America's backing as China rises to become the dominant power in the region. In light of the West's weak response to Putin's takeover of the Crimea, some Asian allies are concerned about whether the U.S. will stand steady in the event a conflict breaks out between one of its allies and China.
In recent months, The WorldPost has published pieces from political leaders, as well as from top strategists and analysts from the U.S. and around the region -- Japan, South Korea, Australia and China itself -- who have addressed the looming conflict between China and Japan as well as the broader issue of how the rest of the world should cope with China's rise. A review of these authoritative voices puts Obama's visit in perspective.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of America's leading strategic thinkers, warns Japan to abstain from provocative acts and reminds the Chinese that U.S. military strength is vastly greater than theirs.
Yoichi Funabashi, the long-time diplomatic correspondent and former editor of Asahi Shimbun, worries about a new "domino effect" in East Asia if the U.S. doesn't stand by Japan.
Like Funabashi, analyst Ian Bremmer asks whether U.S. allies can still trust America to keep its commitments.
Nayan Chanda of YaleGlobal doubts whether the short-term politics of American democracy can stand up to the long-term strategic determination of China.
Former South Korean Foreign Minister Yoon-Young Kwan cites key parallels between 2014 and 1914.
Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating calls on the U.S. to share power with China in the Asia-Pacific region and calls on China to outline clearly the international role it intends to play -- a role that must make Japan feel secure.
Zheng Bijian, the long-time doyen of the Central Party School in Beijing and author of China's "peaceful rise" doctrine, puts China's strategic choices in the context of its interdependence within the global economy.
Yan Xuetong, one of China's top foreign policy thinkers, echoes Zheng Bijian's view of seeking convergent interests instead of conflict.
"China Wave" author Zhang Weiwei argues that the world "must respect China's red lines."
Military analyst Robert Kaplan, known for his realist views, points out that "the center of military power is moving to Asia."
Finally, Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, warns that East Asia must avoid "a Crimean type of conflict."
For a Washington-within-the-beltway view of the political challenges to accomplishing a pivot to Asia, read Asia's Society's Matt Stumpf.