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US allies in Asia will be watching President Obama's decisions in the Ukraine crisis closely to gain a hint of how he is likely to act in the East China Sea.

Great power politics expert Tim Lynch told Sky News Australia that the US has no interest in promoting an unambiguously Japanese claim on the disputed Senkaku Islands, and will attempt to solve the dispute through talks - though that did not prevent war in the Falkland Islands, the last time two of its allies faced off in a territorial dispute.