Behind US Foreign Policy, a Focus on Politics of Power ; the White House Reemphasized Ties with Japan This Week, in Effort to Check China

By Francine Kiefer and Abraham McLaughlin writers of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, June 29, 2001 | Go to article overview

Behind US Foreign Policy, a Focus on Politics of Power ; the White House Reemphasized Ties with Japan This Week, in Effort to Check China


Francine Kiefer and Abraham McLaughlin writers of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


The swearing-in was an extraordinary show of diplomatic pageantry.

In an expansive East Room ceremony that ordinarily would have taken place in the smaller Oval Office, former Senate majority leader Howard Baker this week officially assumed the duties of ambassador to Japan. The line-up of political glitterati in attendance included five former US ambassadors to Tokyo, two former secretaries of State, a US Supreme Court justice, and more than 300 other guests. It was the grandest swearing-in event for any US ambassador this year.

But it was much more than just a big party. In the subtle language of diplomacy, the event - and the visit of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan to Camp David tomorrow - is intended to send a signal, complete with crucial subtext: The US is reemphasizing its relationship with Japan, and it's doing so to counter China's rising influence.

This is just one recent example of the unfolding realpolitik of President Bush's foreign policy. Under this more hard-nosed approach, the emphasis is on countering perceived strategic threats and potential rivals rather than on safeguarding human rights and democracy around the globe.

"There is, going in [to this administration], something different," says George Shultz, secretary of State during the Reagan administration and an influential figure in this White House. "President Bush is trying to inject a greater sense of realism, a greater sense of US interests, a more hard-headed approach."

In the case of the swearing-in extravaganza, the administration was trying to "cement" the US-Japan alliance as a way to keep China in check, says a senior administration official. That's a departure from the Clinton administration's view of China as a "strategic partner."

"If you have a strategic sense of Asia as a triangle between the US, Japan, and China, that's not right," the official says. "It's more like a teeter-totter - a balance with China on one side and the US and Japan on the other."

An amorphous concept

Slowly, the world is getting a sense of what the Bush team means when it talks about a foreign policy based on the amorphous term "realism." Recent examples include the US rejection of the Kyoto treaty on global warming and Mr. Bush's derision of the Antiballistic Missile Treaty as a "relic" of the cold-war era.

In trying to apply its theory of realism, the Bush team is still feeling its way. "They are evolving a policy to make it operational, and it takes time," says Mr. Shultz.

Major areas of foreign policy are "under review," including the administration's military strategy, its approach toward Iraq, and its evolving relationship with Russia. Progress has been slow because of lack of key staff as the appointee-confirmation process drags on, and the intrusion of real-life crises needing immediate attention, such as the US spy plane in China and renewed Israeli- Palestinian violence.

In theory, foreign-policy analysts explain, realism means serving US security and strategic interests first - and that takes priority over goals such as strengthening human rights worldwide. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Behind US Foreign Policy, a Focus on Politics of Power ; the White House Reemphasized Ties with Japan This Week, in Effort to Check China
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.