As part of a panel convened at the National Assembly of South Korea, UH Hilo Associate Professor of Political Science Su-Mi Lee discussed how China, Japan, Korea and the United States perceive China’s Belt and Road Initiative and a proposed trade bloc.
Su-Mi Lee, an associate professor of political science at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, spoke at the National Assembly of South Korea about China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the future formation of a proposed “East Asian Community.” On June 13, four academics, including Lee, discussed how China, Japan, Korea and the United States perceived the BRI as well as the likelihood of creating an “East Asian Community” comprised of the three countries. Their discussion followed a speech by Yukio Hatoyama, former prime minister of Japan, about his initiative of forming the tripartite community based on the BRI.
“Hatoyama’s vision is to create a community of East Asian countries like the European Union,” Lee explains about the key points of Hatoyama’s proposal. “He believes that by forming a community like that, those countries can keep each other in check and maintain peace in the region.”
Lee says the vision has not been well received by the United States. When Hatoyama was the prime minister of Japan from 2009–2010, among a number of other reasons, he was viewed as anti-American because he advocated strengthening the relations among China, Japan and Korea. Lee said Hatoyama’s intention was not to keep the U.S. out of East Asia by establishing a community of the three countries, but some in Washington viewed it otherwise.
Read full story at UH System News.