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People's Daily Online>>World

Asian countries refuse to 'take sides'

By Ding Gang, Ji Peijuan (People's Daily)

09:15, December 27, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

In recent years, deepened "10+3" cooperation between the ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea have made this region a major world economic power.

The United States has returned to the Asia-Pacific with the view of maximizing its benefit from Asian development. While the reason for why some Asian countries have a certain interest in the U.S.'s return is not only because they want to achieve the leverage with China in security with the help of the United States, but more hope that the U.S.'s investment and the market can continue to provide a strong power for Asian economy as before.

An expert from a Singapore strategic consulting firm said, "Small Asian countries need the United States' continued participation in Asian affairs to counter China's influence. A harmonious but restricted China is more likely to play an active role."

It seems that this sentence implies alert to China, but to understand it thoroughly, you will find it has two meanings. The first is to restrict China's influence by the U.S.'s power and market, but this restriction is more to balance but not contain China's development. The second meaning is also obvious, that is to make better use of China's development.

Asia's problem is that a new balance and bonds that can tightly bind Asian economies together have not been formed yet. The lack of such a balance and bonds makes Asian countries always watch changes in their neighbors uneasily and always hope to form a balance in their favor with the help of some power outside the region. But the current cooperation trend in Asia will eventually make the regional development take this step.

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