By Theresa L Kraus; Center of Military History

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Chinese military power While attempts have been made to convert military power into comprehensible units, comparing military power is more an art than a science. indd 35 7/21/2011 5:00:37 PM 36 Japan, China and Networked Regionalism in East Asia power of military hardware is hard to measure and only rarely made available for external scrutiny. And, in the case of China, the military is not transparent, and often not even an attempt is made by China to explain its defence and weapons acquisition decisions.

Developed by Abramo Organski in the aftermath of the Second World War, the key idea in power transition theory is that power parity leads to instability, and indeed can be a cause of war. As opposed to realists who generally focus on the international political factors, Organski posited that the most important changes to the balance of power in the system came not from alliances and clever diplomacy but from internal power growth, in particular industrialization – although the theory does not rule out the role of alliances as an intervening factor (Kim 1989).

Kindleberger (1973), suggested that only a hegemon has the requisite power to create/enforce such rules and in so doing bring about order and stability. In other words, hegemony is a necessary condition for international institutions. From this perspective, the end of a hegemon would equal the end of its institutions. A regional hegemonic stabilizer? indd 20 7/21/2011 5:00:32 PM Sino-Japanese Relations and East Asian Regionalism 21 at the regional level. In the realist camp, Hans Morgenthau has noted (in Lemke 2002), ‘we have spoken thus far of the balance of power as if it were one single system comprehending all nations actively engaged in international politics.

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