Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
On Sino-Japanese Tensions and the US Approach

On Sino-Japanese Tensions and the US Approach

Ratings: (0)|Views: 4|Likes:
Published by Evan Gage
By Jing HuAng, tHe BrooKings institution
By Jing HuAng, tHe BrooKings institution

More info:

Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Evan Gage on Aug 17, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

10/25/2012

pdf

text

original

 
 J
 apan
E
conomic
c
urrEnts
n
o
. 58o
ctobEr 
2005
P
rime Minister JunichiroKoizumi’s landslide victoryon September 11 was wellexpected but mysterious. Wellexpected because it really waspredetermined as Koizumi, again, hadoutmaneuvered his opponents withhis masterful ride on voters’ anxietyand strong (but unclear) desire forchanges. Mysterious because theChina factor, a key element in stirringup such anxiety and desire, washardly mentioned during the entirecampaign, despite the unprecedentedappearance of ve Chinese naval shipsin the disputed waters in the EastChina Sea at the eve of the election.But the lingering and seeminglyescalating tension between thetwo great Asian powers must beaddressed. It is true that the Sino- Japanese tension roots in historicalagony caused by a brutal war thatwas started by the Imperial Army’sinvasion into China in 1931. It is alsotrue that the tensions are tangledwith frictions over territory disputes,energy, security concerns, economicexchanges, intellectual property, illegalimmigrants and labors, and so on.Yet it is bad policies, ineptmanagements, insensitive and evenrude behavior by both sides that havepoisoned the relationship betweenthe two nations which, with so muchshared interests, must cooperatein order to sustain their economicprosperity and political stability.Indeed, how could the Chinese, andpeoples in other Asian countries whohad suffered from the Imperial Army’sinvasions, not be reminded of theunbearable pain and unspeakablehumiliation when Prime MinisterKoizumi habitually visited the YasukuniShrine where 14 top war criminalsare “honored”? And how could the Japanese not feel threatened byChina’s rise when Chinese submarineslurked in Japanese territorial waters“by accident” and naval shipsconducted “normal exercises” inthe disputed waters? Beneath theseemingly insensitive activities andinept maneuvers, however, areturbulent torrents of nationalisticsentiments in both countries.China’s nationalism has rootsin both its enormous sufferingscaused by western (and particularly Japanese) intrusions in the past andthe newly found condence thanksto China’s rapid growth in recentyears. The Chinese government,however, conveniently utilized thetwo elements—bitterness towards thepast and condence in the future—inthe post-1989 “patriotic education”campaign, educating people that itwas under the CCP’s leadership thatChinese people had rid themselvesof foreign oppressions, defeated the Japanese invasion, and have hencedeveloped a strong and prosperousnew China.Intended or not, this has instilledan anti-West element in China’ssurging nationalism, in which the anti- Japanese resentment is especiallystrong, not only because Japan’sinvasion had caused tremendous lossesto China, but also because Taiwan,China’s rst territory concession toan imperialist power: Japan, remains
On Sino-Japanese Tensions and the US Approach
B
y
J
ing
H
uAng
, t
He
B
rooKings
i
nstitution
Nationalistic sentiments have hijacked theleadership in both China and Japan, preventingthem from making rational decisions for theirnations’ best interests.
 
 J
 apan
E
conomic
c
urrEnts
n
o
. 58o
ctobEr 
2005
5
“unreturned” to the motherland. AfterChina’s take-over of Hong Kong andMacau, Taiwan has become a symbolas well as a reminder of not only allthe injustice and humiliations Chinahad suffered from imperialist powers,but also of the incompleteness of China’s territory integrity, nationalsovereignty, and ultimately nationalpride – this is essentially why Beijingfelt specically offended when Tokyopublicly expressed its “concerns” oversecurity in the Taiwan Strait.Evidently, nationalistic sentimentsare also growing in Japan, but fordifferent reasons. Over a decade of economic stagnation has given rise towide-spread frustration and anxietyin Japan that the nation has peaked,its inuence is declining, and itsfuture prosperity depends on Chinawhich, with its booming economy andincreasing inuence, is becoming thecenter of gravity for economic, politicaland diplomatic activists in Asia.Consequently, many Japanese feelthreatened by China’s growing militarypower under the CCP leadership.On the other hand, Japanese peoplebelieve that, after 60 years of beinga responsible, peaceful, democraticand generous member of the worldcommunity, Japan has earned its rightto be seen and treated as a “normal”state in international affairs. They areirritated by China’s endless requestsfor “apology” and its opposition to Japan’s quest for normalcy and aseat in UN Security Council, despite$32 billion in Overseas DevelopmentAssistance to China.Ironically, not only do growingnationalistic sentiments in Japan andChina mirror each other, but they arealso fueling each other, with identicalpolitical consequences: leaders in bothcountries are trying to ride on the tidesof nationalism in order to enhancetheir popularity (Japan) and legitimacy(China) in domestic politics. This hasenabled nationalistic sentimentsto hijack both leaderships in Sino- Japanese relations, preventing themfrom making rational decisions fortheir nations’ best interests. Instead,while growing anxiety over potentialthreat from a rising China has helpedto popularize Koizumi’s “stubbornness”and empowered the right-wing groupsin political affairs, rising anti-Japaneseresentment has translated intoBeijing’s “tough stance” toward Japanand its condoning, if not connivance,of violent anti-Japan demonstrations.What comes out of all this is thegrowing suspicion and distrust betweenthe two great nations. Nowadays Tokyoand Beijing cannot even communicate,let alone cooperate, with eachother, not necessarily because theyfail to see that reconciliation andcooperation would serve their nations’best interests, but because theyare skeptical about the other side’swillingness and sincerity to make anymeaningful compromises necessaryfor constructive cooperation. With thisbackdrop, China’s fast development, its
Over a decade of economic stagnation has givenrise to wide-spread frustration and anxiety in Japan that the nation has peaked, its inuenceis declining, and its future prosperity dependson China which, with its booming economy andincreasing inuence, is becoming the center of gravity for economic, political and diplomaticactivists in Asia.
 
 J
 apan
E
conomic
c
urrEnts
n
o
. 58o
ctobEr 
2005
increasing clout in Asia, its risingmilitary strength, its opposition to Japan’s entrance in the UN SecurityCouncil, its leaders’ seeminglyassertive behavior in dealing with Japan (especially that of formerPresident Jiang Zemin), and theirinsistence on a “heartfelt (and written)”apology have all helped to convincemany Japanese that a hostile China isseeking dominance in Asia at Japan’sexpenses. Indeed, for the Japanese,what can be more threatening thana dominant power that harbors deephostility toward Japan?Meanwhile, with a poisoned Sino- Japanese relationship, Koizumi’shabitual visits to the Yasukuni Shrine,his tough stance on territory disputes, Japan’s effort to “normalize” itsstatehood, its drive for a seat in the UNSecurity Council, its openly expressed“concern” about security in the TaiwanStrait, and its text books glossingover war crimes have all raisedserious questions among Chinese elitemembers as well as general publicon whether Japan can be responsibleand fair in international affairs, andparticularly in dealing with China.After all, Japan is the only Asiancountry that has managed to become aglobal power twice within one century;and its rst time-around was China’sunforgettable nightmare.This deadlock in bilateral relationshas caused yet another similaritybetween the two countries in policymaking. That is, both Beijing andTokyo tend to pin their hopes ontheir bilateral relations with theUnited States, thinking that a solidrelationship with Americans couldhelp them gain an upper hand inthe Sino-Japanese relationship. Butthis is wishful thinking. Escalatingtensions and hostility between thetwo most important Asian powersdo not serve American interests inthe Asian-Pacic region, where theultimate American policy goals are tomaintain the region’s political stabilityand economic prosperity throughpromoting democracy and expandingmarket economy. Neither can beachieved without cooperation betweenand with Japan and China.It is true that there are peoplewho would favor a stronger US- Japan alliance to contain, or at leastbalance out, China’s rise. But suchopinion is deemed unrealistic andcounterproductive by the mainstreamsin American strategic thinking. Howcan China be contained as its fastdevelopment is achieved essentiallythrough integrating itself into theexisting global system that is basedon market economy and led bydemocracies? After all, integration hasbeen a critical element in the US Chinapolicy in the past two decades.Contrary to such “containment”thinking, the US wants a good, orat least workable, Sino-Japaneserelationship, not vice versa. Thereasons are obvious and manifold.At the very least, dynamic economicgrowth in and exchanges between
Nowadays Tokyo and Beijing cannot evencommunicate, let alone cooperate, with eachother, not necessarily because they fail to seethat reconciliation and cooperation would servetheir nations’ best interests, but because they areskeptical about the other side’s willingness andsincerity to make any meaningful compromisesnecessary for constructive cooperation.
On Sino-Japanese Tensions and the US Approach

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->