India and Japan Warm Up to China
High-profile leaders from Japan and India met with Chinese leaders in April and May this year, signaling a change in relations between these traditional rivals. The meetings indicate that after years of conflict, Japan and India are seeking to warm relations with China. America’s growing unreliability as an ally is causing these Asian nations to put aside their differences and draw closer together.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in China on April 27 and 28. In the informal summit, they discussed ways to ease the tense situation on their Himalayan border. Last year, the two nations were on the brink of war over a territorial dispute. However, Xi and Modi pledged at the summit to keep the border in “peace and tranquility” by using “strategic communications” to prevent misunderstandings. They also agreed to “handle all [their] differences through peaceful discussions.”
India and China have never been the best of friends. Their shared border is a constant source of dispute and near-conflicts. As two of the largest powers in Asia, they are also constantly jockeying for influence. China is the largest economy in Asia. It also has a significant military force and a penchant for gobbling up territory that is not its own. The Belt and Road Initiative is another contested point between the two nations. India tries to portray itself as the alternative to China in the region. Each nation seeks to contain the other’s influence, which inevitably leads to clashes.
Brahma Chellaney, a senior fellow at New Delhi’s Centre for Policy Research, pointed out that the meeting “was long on symbolism and vague promises, but short on tangible results.” However, the fact that there even was a meeting shows that India and China may be open to making a change. C. Raja Mohan, director of the Carnegie India think tank, told the Financial Times, “The geopolitical context has changed with the U.S. threatening and demanding a reorganization of the China-U.S. economic relationship. The Chinese have woken up and said: ‘At least keep our periphery a little calmer.’”
According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, Xi told Modi, “The great cooperation between our two great countries can influence the world.” As U.S. influence wanes, India is realizing that it isn’t in its best interest to be too anti-China.
Japan is another traditional adversary of China that is reconsidering its position. China and Japan have been on tense terms for several years because of a series of territorial disputes. China has been aggressively taking control of waters and islands in the South China Sea that are not its own. As an island nation, Japan eyes China’s territorial grabs uneasily, but it doesn’t want to fight back. (Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote extensively about this in “China Is Steering the World Toward War.”) There is a lot of bad blood between the two nations. However, it may be in Japan’s best interest to build warmer relations with China, since its American ally is becoming more isolationist.
On May 9, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. The main topic on the agenda was North Korea, but Abe also had a one-on-one summit with the Chinese leader.
As one source told Bloomberg, “The summit’s main deliverable is the fact that these proud countries are talking.” According to the Japan Times, Japan and China are working toward establishing free trade through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. They have also agreed on a “Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism” to prevent unnecessary conflicts between their forces in contested waters. China has made no move to give up the islands and waters that it has already taken over. Still, it looks like the two nations are moving toward an uneasy friendship.
Both Japan and India have traditionally had close ties with the United States. However, U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy is causing them to rethink their alliances. China is rapidly gaining power and influence in Asia. Trade war between the U.S. and China has become a reality. As the U.S. isolates itself, it makes the rest of the world more likely to unite against it.
It may seem far-fetched to say that India, China and Japan will end up as allies. But that is what the Bible indicates will happen! Revelation 16:12 refers to the “kings of east.” Other prophecies show that this alliance will include Russia, China and Japan, and probably India, the Koreas and smaller southeast Asian nations. These Asian nations will ally together into a strong power that will “trouble” the king of the north (Daniel 11:44).
An article in the April 1968 Plain Truth said, “Despite its many national, religious and political differences, Asia will ultimately be welded together into a common power bloc.” Japan and India’s rapprochement with China show the growing reality of that “kings of the east” alliance.
Our He Was Right booklet says:
A Beijing-Tokyo alliance sounds unlikely at present given the mutual suspicion and animosity the two have toward each other. But as U.S. influence fades, China, Japan, Russia and their Asian neighbors [including India] are dramatically repositioning themselves. …
As loath as Japan is to playing second fiddle to China, many in Tokyo know that working toward a Pan-Asian future is the only way Japan can come to wield global influence proportionate to the size of its economy and the weight of its industry. By the same token, Beijing knows that to truly alter the global balance of power, it needs the technological prowess and naval might of Japan.
China and Japan will eventually combine their power with the ultimate intention of forcing the U.S. out of the western Pacific. Then, as has been the strategy of the European Union, the Asian political and economic cooperation will give way to a military alliance. Russia, China and Japan are moving closer together, just as Mr. Armstrong said they would. Now all it will take is a sudden catastrophic shock to weld the union together.
If you would like to learn more about this coming alliance, please request our free booklet Russia and China in Prophecy. For a brief summary of what the Bible says about these kings, you can also watch our 90-second video “The Kings of the East.”