Beyond the Nixon DoctrineA new Asia is emerging. The Nixon Doctrine is only the beginning of the adjustment of the American role to an era in which the last vestiges of the postwar period will be gone.
The old enmities of World War II are dead or dying. So are the old independencies of the postwar era. The next decade can see the burial of both.
Asian states are stronger. They are able and determined to play a larger role in shaping the international structure of their region. They are joining together in regional structures which make them more independent of, and therefore more influential on, the policies of the greater powers.
Each of the major powers of the Pacific region-Japan, the U.S.S.R., the People's Republic of China and the United States-is faced with difficult decisions in adjusting its policies to the new realities of East Asia. And the decisions they make will, in themselves, centrally affect the international situation in the region.
The future structure of East Asia is, therefore, not yet clear. It depends on decisions not yet made. But it is clear that it will not be subject to the dominant influence of any one state.
It will, rather, rest on two pillars: the collective interests of Asian nations acting in regional groupings, and the policies of the four major powers concerned with the region.
Each, in the next decade, must adjust its policies to the legitimate interests of the others. Out of that process, which has already begun, is being created a new international structure in the Pacific region. The challenge for the future is to ensure that it is a structure of stability.