China and Japan Face Off

Melissa Chan reviews Asia’s Reckoning by Richard McGregor

In 1945, two conferences at Yalta and Potsdam determined the post-war world order and set the terms for the surrenders of Germany and Japan, with the latter meeting setting an ultimatum for Tokyo, to which Japan did not respond. Four days later, the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Much can happen in seventy years, but few survivors of World War II might have predicted that in 2017, democracies would look expectantly to Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, as the best candidate for the leader of the free world. Nor would countries in Asia, ravaged by the Imperial Japanese Army, have imagined supporting Japan’s leadership as it moves forward on a regional trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which America abandoned.