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New wave of Asian defense pacts no magic template for countering China

U.S. will need to increase military presence to change Beijing's strategic calculations

| Japan
Fumio Kishida and Scott Morrison attend a video signing ceremony on Jan. 6: the Reciprocal Access Agreement only goes some way to mitigating the fact that Canberra and Tokyo have at times quite different instincts about how to deal with China.   © Reuters

James Crabtree is executive director of IISS-Asia in Singapore. He is author of "The Billionaire Raj."

Last week's defense cooperation pact struck by Australia and Japan marks the latest in a series of recent deals between U.S. allies in Asia as they grapple with how to manage China's rising power. Building more such arrangements is now a clear objective of U.S. policy, creating what National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan describes as a new "latticework of alliances and partnerships" that allow Washington's friends to work more closely together around the region.

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