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Solutions to political crises in the Asia-Pacific region
Material posted: Publication date: 15-11-2017
Recently the situation around the territorial disputes in the Asia-Pacific region. Conflict becomes more significant influence on their development have lead countries of this region.

The subjects of crises

In the Asia-Pacific region(APR) presents the diversity of economies, natural and human resources. Of particular interest are such high-tech countries like China, Japan, South Korea. Also fair to say North Korea, which has a significant impact on the escalation of political crises. We should not forget about the two political giants – the Russian Federation (RF) and the United States of America (USA).

Each of the countries, which are located in this region:

  • has its own unique and more than a hundred years of history (the exception is North Korea, which was established 09 Sep 1948);
  • occupies a very important place in world politics;
  • has a developed economy, which allows it to play an important role in the political arena.

This is not a determining factor in the formation of conflicts in the Asia Pacific region.

The history of conflict in the Asia-Pacific region

Confrontation in the APR is usually attributed to the category of low intensity conflicts.

One of the longest is the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands. A group of small Islands of the Senkaku, which the Chinese call Diaoyu and consider to be their territory, located in 410 km from the coast of Japan. The largest of the Senkaku Islands are the Islands of Uotsuri, Kitaco, Minamike and Taisho. The total area of the disputed territory in the East China sea – a 6.3 sq km Islands Legally belong to Japan. But China disagrees and calls this territory of a native Chinese. Background to the dispute over the ownership of virtually uninhabited Islands appeared in 1895 when they were first transferred to Japan following the first Sino-Japanese war. By the Treaty of Shimonoseki, which recognized the results of Japan's victory over Imperial China, China ceded to Japan the Senkaku. After the Second World war, when the Japanese lost all of the captured from the end of XIX century the territory, the archipelago was under the interim jurisdiction of the United States, and in 1972 was transferred to the Americans of Japan, which considers it originally a Japanese territory.

In turn, China considers the Senkaku Islands native Chinese land. Beijing and Tokyo cannot define border passage between exclusive economic zones in the area of the Senkaku Islands. Japan insists on the passage of the dividing line in the middle of the water area, China - on the line moving closer to the Japanese coast. 11 September 2012 the Japanese government nationalized three of the Islands – Uotsuri, Kitaco and Minamike. The Chinese foreign Ministry urged Japan to reconsider its decision on their nationalization, the defense Ministry of China stressed that "China's armed forces reserve right to retaliate, in connection with the purchase by Japan of the Senkaku Islands"[1]. 23 Nov 2013 the Ministry of defence of the PRC announced the establishment of identification zone air defense in East China sea, which, in particular, applies to the disputed Senkaku Islands. From this statement it appears that the Chinese armed forces will now apply defensive measures against any aircraft that are not responding and not obeying orders while in this airspace. Japan and South Korea have expressed in connection with this protest to China.

Territorial disputes arise in the South China sea. In the twenty-first century, a new place constant tension has become the South China sea. To maximize its influence in its waters tend almost all States in the region – China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines and Taiwan. This territorial dispute recent years, teetering on the brink of armed conflict. After separation of Maritime boundaries against the backdrop of the collision of coast guard ships and large-scale naval maneuvers. Territorial disputes in the South China sea relevant in recent years. Worsening primarily due to the fact that offshore can be a significant oil and gas reserves of 5.5 billion barrels and 55.1 trillion cubic meters And for possession of these riches States in the region are ready for more.

Hotbeds of conflict in our time

Pockets of conflicts in our time are almost indistinguishable from those that were historically. There are significant differences between China and the United States on regional security issues. Beijing maintains that the deployment of the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in South Korea contrary to the security interests of China. In an apparent attempt to appease China and domestic critics, the new administration in Seoul, led by President moon Jae Otherwise announced in June 2017, "I would like to suspend further deployment of THAAD" [2]. In addition, despite the introduction of new China sanctions against North Korea on coal exports in November 2016, the administration trump condemned the failure of Beijing to respond to nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang. This has had its influence, as in Pyongyang not conduct nuclear tests in the period from September 9, 2016 and July 2017, However, North Korea accelerated the pace to build its missile programme during this period. The result was the implementation of the first Intercontinental missile test range "And 14" in the beginning of July. However, this has dramatically increased the likelihood of a military US response to the DPRK's actions.

Other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) decided not to Express their concerns about developments in the South China sea, fearing the economic impact from China. Developments in the South China sea, mainly depend on interaction with Japan, which believes it is important to ensure security in this troubled region, as he feels the direct pressure of China in the East China sea, where China deploys units of the naval and coast guard near the disputed Senkaku Islands, resulting in political battles with Japan happen more and more often. In response, Japan hold joint exercises with the US, and thereby shows the presence of a powerful support.

Stability on the Korean Peninsula has deteriorated significantly during 2017 due to the fact that the DPRK continues to expand its missile capability and has already held the sixth nuclear test. The DPRK, regardless of statements is not going to launch a nuclear attack on all countries but only consolidates power to ensure their own security.

It is fair to mention also a dramatic political transition in South Korea. Domestic politics in South Korea has added even more complications in resolving the situation on the Korean Peninsula. After the impeachment of the previous President as a result of the corruption scandal, elections were held and won by the liberal candidate moon Jae-In. South Korea is faced with an unsolvable problem of balancing relations with the US, China and Japan. Priority in the agenda is the controversial THAAD system, which was successfully deployed in South Korea as soon as the President came to power, after years of procrastination on this issue.

Growing dissatisfaction with China, which claims that the range of the system affect Chinese missiles. China emphasizes that this is a direct threat to national security. This fear is shared by Russia, which considers that the installation of THAAD into the region could bring back the military build-up.

The role of the Russian Federation

Without the participation of Russia is impossible to imagine provision of a regional military-political stability, collective efforts to counter international terrorism, cooperation in the field of emergency response, inter-civilizational dialogue. Russia attaches great importance to the development of economic cooperation focusing on areas where Russia have obvious advantages. It is, above all, about energy, including nuclear energy, transport. The increased activity of Russia's policy in Asia Pacific and ASEAN is part of the Concept of Russian foreign policy from November 30, 2016 the Strategy of geopolitical maneuvering and non-involvement in foreign conflicts is implemented on "the Korean front." Russia strengthens ties with both Koreas, which requires considerable effort.

The activity of Russia on security and cooperation in the Asia Pacific region could, in our view, to develop in the following areas:

  • giving dynamism and constructive bilateral relations with all countries of the region;
  • active stimulation of the movement of the region to create subregional and regional security and cooperation;
  • persistent action to resolve regional conflicts in Asia Pacific;
  • the promotion of practical measures to reduce the level of military confrontation, building trust, inclusion of mechanisms of consultation, dialogue.

In conclusion, it should be noted that in this region there are many conflicts and territorial disputes, and it becomes clearer that a new model of security and stability in the Asia Pacific region, based on a comprehensive dialogue between the parties to the conflict. You can build this model based on the formation of collective security in several areas simultaneously and allowed to build this model on the basis of negotiations by two or more countries.


  1. Sino-Japanese territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands // ITAR-TASS, 25.11.2013
  2. Territorial disputes in the South China sea.//Arguments and Facts, 25.08.2016
  3. Bolyatko A.V. the Role of the United States and China in the development of military-political situation in the Pacific // China in world and regional politics. History and the present. 2013.
  4. Japan has accused China of violating the Maritime border /
  5. Islands that are the subject of territorial disputes. 14.09.2012. //RIA Novosti


[1] Press conference July 5, 2011 the official representative of the foreign Ministry of China Hong lei

[2] Nknews, June 7th, 2017, full THAAD deployment in S. Korea delayed pending “environmental assessment”

Khalil D. I.

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