This chapter examines the United States’ relations with China and other countries in Asia. It considers how a region wracked by insurgencies and wars for almost forty years was transformed from being one of the most disturbed and contested in the second half of the twentieth century, into becoming one of the more stable and prosperous by century’s end. The chapter begins with a discussion of the United States’ relations with Japan and then with China and Korea. It shows that at the end of the Cold War in Europe, hostility continued in the Korean peninsula, and that North Korea has consciously used nuclear weapons as a bargaining chip in order to ensure the survival of the regime. The chapter concludes by assessing the outlook for the Asia-Pacific region and future prospects for American hegemony in East Asia.
This chapter examines US foreign policy in the Asia-Pacific region. It first considers America’s rise as an major power and the introduction of the Open Door policy that became a major component of US policy during the period 1899–1941. It then shows how, with the conclusion of World War II, the United States achieved maritime hegemony in the Asia-Pacific and the historic policy of Open Door was rendered irrelevant by American preponderance. It also discusses the Korean War of 1950 and how it prompted the United States aggressively to apply the containment doctrine in Asia by establishing the so-called ‘hub-and-spokes’ bilateral alliance system; the outbreak of the Vietnam War; the Richard Nixon–Henry Kissinger opening to China in the early 1970s; and American foreign policy under Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.