Washington Needs to Press Japan on History

WSJ.com, April 27, 2015

–Column by Ying Ma

During Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Washington, D.C. this week to discuss trade and security issues and address a joint session of Congress, his penchant for whitewashing his country’s World War II history will be closely scrutinized.

Already, a bipartisan group of Congressmen have called on Mr. Abe to “squarely face history.” In a letter last week to Japanese Ambassador to the United States Kenichiro Sasae, 25 members of the House of Representatives urged the Japanese leader to use his upcoming visit to “formally reaffirm and validate” past apologies issued by Japan for its wartime aggression.

However, many others in Congress are either unfamiliar with Japan’s historical amnesia or happy to gloss over it themselves. Those who care about the U.S.’s moral leadership and interests in Asia should urge Mr. Abe to get right with history.

To read the entire column, please click HERE. 

Advertisements

Former World Bank President Criticizes U.S. Handling of New China-Led Infrastructure Bank

WSJ.com, March 19, 2015

–Commentary by Ying Ma

In the past week, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy have all announced plans to join the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). European participation in the new financial institution has materialized despite strong objections from the Obama administration, which sees the AIIB as China’s vehicle for creating a rival to the U.S.-led World Bank.

Is the AIIB merely a thinly veiled Chinese attack on the international financial architecture created by the United States and its allies after World War II? What does European enthusiasm for the AIIB signify for the global strategic competition shaping up between the U.S. and China?

Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank and former U.S. Trade Representative and Deputy Secretary of State under George W. Bush, says there is certainly a risk that the new bank could end up being a vehicle for Chinese influence but also calls the Obama administration’s approach “mistaken both on policy and on execution.”

To read the entire column, please click HERE

Hints of Nuance in Coming GOP Presidential Race

WSJ.com, March 13, 2015

–Commentary by Ying Ma

China announced a robust 10.1% increase to its military budget at the opening of the country’s annual legislative session in Beijing last week, signaling that it has no intention of reversing efforts to better defend its interests in the Pacific. Meanwhile, at another major political meeting near Washington D.C. – last month’s Conservative Political Action Conference – Republican presidential hopefuls barely mentioned China or Asia at all.

Are GOP candidates for the 2016 presidential race going to make the mistake of ignoring China’s importance as a foreign policy challenge for the U.S.?

Hardly. In fact, the 2016 U.S. presidential race on the Republican side is shaping up to be one where the major candidates are likely to bring real policy gravitas, not just caricatures and jingoism, to discussions about U.S. policy toward China and Asia.

To read entire column, please click HERE.

China Has No Interest in Backing Down to the U.S.

WSJ.com, September 23, 2014

–Commentary by Ying Ma

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice visited China earlier this month to pave the way for President Barack Obama’s upcoming meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping after an Asia-Pacific trade summit in Beijing this November. Rice’s visit produced no breakthroughs, and each side walked away having voiced their gripes against the other.

In many ways, Rice’s visit was indicative of a Sino-American relationship that is currently fraught with tension. Prior to Obama’s November visit, his administration should do some serious soul searching about its China policy.

In the face of a rising and more assertive China, many in Washington have argued that the United States must demonstrate firmer resolve to force China to back down from challenging the U.S.-led security order in Asia. These recommendations are dangerous, argues Hugh White, professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University, because China is serious about challenging U.S. primacy in Asia and has no interest in backing down.

[To read the rest of the article, please click HERE.]