|Chinese and U.S. navies conduct their first joint anti-piracy drill in the Gulf of Aden. (File photo/ People's Daily Online)|
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta kicked off his China visit this week after his meetings in Japan amid growing tensions between the two Asian countries over the Diaoyu Islands. What message will Panetta send during his high-profile Asia tour? Will the United States continue to be partial toward Japan?
Japan's shortsightedness is the direct cause of the sharp deterioration of the Diaoyu Islands dispute, but the United States has also played a role. All countries act in their own interests. However, it would be pure wishful thinking for the United States to expect to benefit from the conflict between China and Japan by sowing discord, taking the divide and conquer approach, and acting as a so-called offshore balancer.
The Asia-Pacific region is different from the Middle East. As a geopolitically fragmented region, the Middle East lacks a core country that takes the lead in handling regional affairs, so outside powers can outmaneuver Middle Eastern countries in diplomatic negotiations, and play the divide and conquer game in the region. Even so, the United States has met many troubles in the Middle East, as can be proved by the recent wave of protests in the region. China is an undisputed core country in the Asia-Pacific region, and has the will and ability to resolutely handle regional affairs concerning its interests.
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