EASSC Publications


The US-China-Japan Trilateral Dialogue: Motives, Functions and Results

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper


The possibility of a US-China-Japan trilateral dialogue has been discussed for two decades at the Track 2 level but has never been formally established at the Track 1 level.This paper will assess the motives, assumptions and expected results of trilateral efforts for American, Japanese, and Chinese participants. The paper’s thesis is that Track 2 trilateral dialogue projects performed several functions, visioning, reassurance, transparency, provision of CBMs, creation of communication channels, and formation of an epistemic community. These functions were beneficial for maintaining a stable East Asian order, and should be considered important accomplishments of trilateral dialogues. The fact that these dialogues never institutionalized into a Track 1 trilateral framework do not detract from these achievements. The paper will attempt to assess what further objectives could be accomplished in the future.

Journal, Book or Conference Title

East Asia Security Symposium and Conference 东亚安全座谈谈论会

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This document has been peer reviewed.