North Korea’s death would likely trigger Asia’s largest regional war since Vietnam War

Although Asia has long been a geopolitical melting pot, it is still not clear that the new regime in Beijing would dream of latching on to its giant neighbor as its lone bet.

South Korea appears less than sure, however. It now has the world’s only highly advanced fighter plane, and has been collaborating with U.S. military researchers on advanced weapons, tanks and naval ships in the wake of the nuclear and conventional war by North Korea that likely became the regime’s final fate.

Meanwhile, the Philippines is phasing out its traditional dependence on the United States for military and economic assistance. Beijing is believed to be bolstering its military bases in the country to project power far from its border and in the Pacific, a direction taken by Japan since World War II. (Japan is also locked in a growing tussle with China in the South China Sea, following Beijing’s reclamation of at least 1,000 acres of land.)

Significantly, now that China has become a member of the UN, it has made a loud public show of its willingness to get involved in diplomatic crises. This week, China spoke out openly on a disputed territory in the South China Sea. The next time Beijing is named in an official document, the Chinese Foreign Ministry may well issue a statement.

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