September 09, 2010 11:01
"Middle powers" in the Asia-Pacific region like Korea, Indonesia and Australia are drawing together in an effort to hold emerging superpower China in check, the International Institute for Strategic Studies said in an annual report Tuesday.
The British think tank said these countries seem to be interested in forms of "middle-power consultation" to defend their interests in a "multi-polar Asia," with some like Vietnam and Australia increasing their defense budget.
"Korea, in particular, seems to be developing a brand of middle-power activism that extends beyond its own region and mirrors the more individualistic and distinctive approach of middle powers elsewhere," the report said. "Indeed the successful conclusion of a nuclear-power project with the United Arab Emirates, where Korea defeated competition from the French nuclear industry, in essence makes Korea a strategic actor in the Middle East."
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