In the past century, substantial changes have taken place in the international arena especially when it comes to the relation among state. The end of the Cold War had given way for the United States of America to achieve supreme power and authority as compared with other states in the world when it comes to its influence over international relation. In line with this, it cannot be prevented that the authority and influence of the United States have a large impact on other countries, especially Asian states.
Being the case, it is essential that international relation is given due consideration and importance, especially in terms of the relation of the United States with Asian countries. The work of Ikenberry and Kang discusses international relation in terms of the respective power of the United States and Asian countries and the way by which power affects relations among states. Ikenberry argued that in studying international relations it is necessary that power, in the form of material capabilities is given importance.
He asserted that the power disparities among states are one of the causes that generate security and insecurity, which also has an influence “on what states want and what they can get” (Ikenberry, 2003, p. 24). The main concern of the article written by Ikenberry is the issue concerning the way by which unipolar international order varies from a bipolar or multipolar order in terms of characteristics and functions. Specifically, he studied the shift from the bipolar system during the Cold War to the present day American-centered unipolar system.
Moreover, Ikenberry also identifies the changes that characterized the behavior of states as well as international rule and order (2003). Ikenberry concluded that the unipolarity of the international system is attributed to the power of the United States, especially in terms of material capabilities. The United States has a large influence in the foreign policy and international outcomes that affects other states, especially those in Asia. As such, Ikenberry suggested that the patterns of foreign policy and events in the international arena can be better discerned if unipolarity will give way to bipolarity or multipolarity.
In another view, Asia is seen as one of the most important continent in the international community. Thus, it is important for the international community to have good relations with different kinds of states in Asia most especially with China. Provided that China is the largest country in Asia, its power and influence is undeniably strong. More so, there is a need for the United States to have strong relations with China. In the article provided by David Kang, he pronounces that the Chinese power is the most important authority in Asia.
He stated that “Chinese weakness had led to the chaos in Asia. When China is strong and stable, order has been preserved. The picture of Asia that emerges is one in which China, by virtue of geography and power as the central player in Asia (Kang, 2003, p. 182). ” Therefore, the hierarchy of China is a vital issue with the relationship of the west with Asia. It is also mentioned that the course of development of China shall be the progress of whole continent. Thus, it is the leader for development among any other states in the region.
In addition to this, it is pointed by Kang that there is a huge importance with the hierarchic position with the Asian super power. Through the relationship of different entities and the possible hierarchy of China, there is a great possibility that changes will be present in the whole international community. In the discussion of Kang, he strongly mentioned that the changes are not necessarily positive for the whole international community. More so, the influence and power of China will result to much negative results.
On the other hand, it is given attention that there is a worry with the progress of Asia. Provided that the past European continent was conflictual it is also assumed that China together with other Asian countries shall have the similar experience as Europe. However, in the perspective of Kang, as China and Asia are leaning to a much peaceful community, peace shall also be attained. In conclusion, the context of hierarchy is important in the international community. Both authors have the different perspectives regarding hierarchy.
More so, Ikenberry presents that international order is reliant to the hierarchy present in the international community. On the other hand, Kang states that the influence of China is important with the order of the international community. Through the order of China and Asia in general, there will be peace in the relationship of the whole global community. Therefore, the authors have laid various kinds of arguments that revolve with the importance of hierarchy in the global community.