Many worry that a self-reflective and retrenching America is leaving a void in the world's balance of power. But hold your breath, here is Shinzo Abe coming to the rescue. Before the Americans sign their outsourcing contract with Tokyo, they would be well advised to listen carefully to Mr. Abe's Shangri-La speech. In his concluding remarks, he said that the New Japanese are really no different from their parents and grandparents in seeking to contribute to the world. For every Chinese and every Korean, it begs the question: Just who were those grandfathers Mr. Abe was so proudly referring to?
It would be politically incorrect in the United States to proclaim that the domestic order kept by the Chinese Communist Party would serve U.S. interests. It would also be ideologically unacceptable in China to announce that the current international order sustained by American primacy should be welcomed. Paradoxically, the stark reality is that the two orders have been reinforcing each other now for the past 42 years, since Richard Nixon's historic visit to China. Today, it is in China's best interest to see a vibrant U.S. economy stimulated by technological innovations, and a benign, careful use of U.S. power in the global system. In turn, an orderly yet changing China, under a strong, reform-minded leadership, will make greater contributions to the global order in favor of the United States.