The Trump administration appears eager to change its position frequently, keeping both friends and adversaries on their toes. The snag is that, at least for the moment, allies are more rattled than potential enemies.
A great deal of rhetoric is expended over China’s gigantic investment initiatives. Still, many of the economic projects are real, and Western governments will be well advised to understand their purpose.
China’s recent vituperative reaction to the Japanese seizure of a trawler reflects a new and troubling assertiveness that places at risk the benign and conciliatory image it has assiduously cultivated in recent years.
The US and South Korean show-of-arms against North Korea have generated accusations from China of escalating tension in the region. Is this is a legitimate security response, or a sign of China's new-found assertiveness?
Yukio Hatoyama is Japan's fourth prime minister to resign in as many years. His departure underlines the exasperation with Japan's leadership at home and abroad, and calls into question the future of the country's defence posture.