Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

November 27, 2013

Problems pile up in Asia for US policymakers

WASHINGTON — While the Obama administration is making diplomatic progress on some of the Mideast’s thorniest security issues, problems are piling up in Asia, even though President Barack Obama had wanted the region to play a bigger part in American foreign policy.

Despite efforts to forge deeper ties with China to make East Asia more stable, Beijing’s declaration of a maritime air defense zone has escalated its territorial dispute with U.S. ally Japan.

The U.S. responded in defiant fashion, flying two B-52 bombers through the defense zone on Tuesday without informing Beijing.

Meantime, relations between America’s core allies in the region, Japan and South Korea, are deteriorating. South Korea is bitter over Japan’s attitude toward its colonial past and the use of Korean sex slaves in World War II.

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