Anxiety Rising Over Relations Between Japan and China

Andrew Ross Sorkin
New York Times
A "stealth war" between the second and third largest economies sparks fear amongst international businesses and leaders...

Abe Comparing China to Pre-World War One Germany Fuels Tensions

By Isabel Reynolds and Takashi Hirokawa
Businessweek
China said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was evading Japan’s “history of aggression” by comparing Sino-Japanese relations to those of the U.K. and Germany prior to World War I.

Survey: Fewer Americans Support the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty

Asahi Shimbun
Some observors say the decline may be due to a reluctance to involve the U.S. in Sino-Japanese disputes. 

Conversation

01.21.14

Time to Escalate? Should the U.S. Make China Uncomfortable?

Edward Friedman, Geoff Dyer & more
How should the United States respond to China’s new level of assertiveness in the Asia Pacific? In the past few months as Beijing has stepped up territorial claims around China's maritime borders—and in the skies above them—the Obama...

China, Japan Slug It Out in World’s Press

Matthew Pennington
Associated Press
Escalating disputes between Japan and China are spilling onto newspaper opinion pages around the globe as the rivals try to sway attitudes abroad and placate nationalist fervor at home.

Far Eastern Antipathies

Paul Scheffer
Foreign Affairs
Japan must reckon with England as an eventual addition to the enormous political strength of China and Russia.

China Claims Title of World's Top Trading Nation

Joshua Keating
Slate
Despite heavy investments in technology, aerospace, and autombiles, most Chinese trade is still in low-end goods. 

Bremmer: China, Japan 2014’s Most Dangerous Spat

Rebecca Blumenstein
Wall Street Journal
Political-risk expert Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group calls the bilateral conflict between China and Japan the "greatest geopolitical danger in the world in 2014" and discusses what reform means for China under new leader Xi Jinping...

Why are China and Japan Accusing Each Other of Being Voldemort?

Justin McCurry
Christian Science Monitor
Ill-tempered media exchanges between the Chinese and Japanese ambassadors to London invoked the universal cultural icon to embellish attacks over islands in the Asia-Pacific. 

With Downed Balloon, China and Japan Cooperate

Gerry Mullany
New York Times
A Chinese balloonist took off from the coastal province of Fujian, trying to land on an island claimed by both China and Japan. Unfortunately, the balloonist, a cook by profession, didn’t make his target.

Beijing Turns Cold Shoulder to Japan

Xinhua
Beijing has declared Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “not welcome” by the Chinese people and said Chinese leaders won’t meet him.  

Japanese Premier Visits Contentious War Shrine

Hiroko Tabuchi
New York Times
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan visited a contentious Tokyo war shrine early on Thursday, provoking swift condemnation fromChina and South Korea, both victims of Japan’s wartime aggression.

China Lashes Out at Japan Defence Plans

Al Jazeera
Japan will increase military spending by 2.6 percent over five years, leading China to accuse Tokyo of raising tensions.

Asian Nations Urge Peace in Sea Disputes, Unlikely to Blame China

Elaine Lies
Reuters
Japan and the Philippines have reaffirmed their commitment to freedom of flight over the East China Sea as concerns grow over China's new air defense identification zone. ...

Japan, S.Korea Hold Joint Sea Drill in China Air Zone

Agence France-Presse
The navies of Japan and South Korea, two Asian democracies, carried out a joint maritime rescue drill in international waters covered by China's new air defence identification zone (ADIZ).  ...

Joe Biden’s Unfinished Business With China

Bloomberg
Joe Biden’s trip to northeast Asia has left some in Japan feeling abandoned. By not demanding that China roll back its new “air-defense identification zone,” the U.S. vice president tacitly accepted the controversial zone as a fait accompli.

Abe Calls for China Talks Citing 2006 Trip as Tensions Rise

Isabel Reynolds
Bloomberg
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping after an escalation in bilateral tensions since China’s declaration last month of an air-defense zone that overlaps with Japan’s over the East China Sea.

China’s ADIZ and the Implications for North East Asia

Dan Pinkston
International Crisis Group
China’s recent declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea has stimulated much debate and concern and interpretations have varied widely. The Chinese government has asserted that the ADIZ is in accordance with...

Media

12.04.13

Chinese Chortle at U.S. Request to Scrap Controversial Air Defense Zone

The United States wants China to pull back from its gambit to try to rewrite the East China Sea’s status quo, but the Chinese are having none of it. On December 2, the U.S. State Department said China’s newly-declared air defense identification zone...

Conversation

11.27.13

Why’s the U.S. Flying Bombers Over the East China Sea?

Chen Weihua, James Fallows & more
Chen Weihua:The Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is not a Chinese invention. The United States, Japan and some 20 other countries declared such zones in their airspace long time ago.China’s announcement of its first ADIZ in the East China Sea...

Media

11.25.13

Chinese Netizens Applaud Beijing’s Aggressive New Defense Zone

Beijing has just thrown down the latest gauntlet in a long-simmering territorial dispute with Tokyo—and China’s citizens are cheering. On November 23, China’s Ministry of Defense released a map showing the “Chinese Air Defense Identification Zone,”...

Chinese Authorities Blocked Protest Voyage to Senkakus, Activist Says

Global Post
Authorities barred a planned protest to the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea last month involving activists from both the mainland and Taiwan, but the protesters are now eyeing another try next month, one of the activists said...

China Seeks End to Japan’s Diaoyu Provocation

Xinhua
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded to a media report that the Japanese Foreign Ministry have released a video online claiming sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. 

Books

09.25.13

Forgotten Ally

Rana Mitter
For decades, a major piece of World War II history has gone virtually unwritten. The war began in China, two years before Hitler invaded Poland, and China eventually became the fourth great ally, partner to the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain. Yet its drama of invasion, resistance, slaughter, and political intrigue remains little known in the West.Rana Mitter focuses his gripping narrative on three towering leaders: Chiang Kai-shek, the politically gifted but tragically flawed head of China’s Nationalist government; Mao Zedong, the Communists’ fiery ideological stalwart, seen here at the beginning of his epochal career; and the lesser-known Wang Jingwei, who collaborated with the Japanese to form a puppet state in occupied China. Drawing on Chinese archives that have only been unsealed in the past ten years, he brings to vivid new life such characters as Chiang’s American chief of staff, the unforgettable “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, and such horrific events as the Rape of Nanking and the bombing of China’s wartime capital, Chongqing. Throughout, Forgotten Ally shows how the Chinese people played an essential role in the wider war effort, at great political and personal sacrifice.Forgotten Ally rewrites the entire history of World War II. Yet it also offers surprising insights into contemporary China. No twentieth-century event was as crucial in shaping China’s worldview, and no one can understand China, and its relationship with America today, without this definitive work.—Houghton Mifflin Harcourt {chop}

Viewpoint

09.13.13

The Urgency of Partnership

Paula S. Harrell
While the media keeps its eye on the ongoing Diaoyu/Senkaku islands dispute, heating up yet again this week after Chinese naval ships and aircraft were spotted circling the area, a parallel, possibly game-changing development in China-Japan...

Conversation

09.13.13

What Can China and Japan Do to Start Anew?

Paula S. Harrell & Chen Weihua
Paula S. Harrell:While the media keeps its eye on the ongoing Diaoyu/Senkaku islands dispute, heating up yet again this week after Chinese naval ships and aircraft were spotted circling the area, a parallel, possibly game-changing development in...

Today’s Alarming Japan-China Charts

James Fallows
Atlantic
Due to a variety of factors, the amount of Japanese people who dislike China and the amount of Chinese people who dislike Japan are on the rise, while those with positive feelings about the other country descends, according to recent polls.

Japan Looking for Ways to Restart Top-Level Meetings with China

Asahi Shimbun
Japan and China have not held high-level meetings since the Japanese government placed the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea under national ownership in September 2012.

China Condemns U.S. Senate Over Sea Dispute Resolution

Ben Blanchard
Reuters
China said on Thursday it had lodged a formal complaint with the United States after the U.S. Senate passed a resolution expressing concern about Chinese actions in the disputed East and South China Seas.

Conversation

08.01.13

How Dangerous Are Sino-Japanese Tensions?

Jerome A. Cohen
Sino-Japanese relations do not look promising at the moment. Obviously, the Diaoyu-Senkaku dispute is not the only factor in play but it does focus nationalist passions on both sides. Yet both countries are capable of wiser conduct if their leaders...

Ties With Japan Face ‘Grim Test,’ China Naval Researcher Writes

Henry Sanderson
Bloomberg
“Japan, of course, wants to have it both ways; it wants to share in the dividends from China’s economic growth, while maintaining a hardline stance in its relations with China,” Xing wrote. “It is therefore extremely unlikely that there will be any...

Chinese, With Revamped Force, Make Presence Known in East China Sea

Jane Perlez
New York Times
The large number of Chinese and Japanese maritime vessels in dangerous proximity in the East China Sea at a time of high tensions over the islands has raised alarm in Washington about clashes that could lead to larger conflict.

Calls Grow in China to Press Claim for Okinawa

Jane Perlez
New York Times
The Chinese government has not asserted a claim to Okinawa. But the seminar last month, which included state researchers and retired officers from the senior ranks of the People’s Liberation Army, was the latest act in what seems to be a...

Reports

06.06.13

Chinese Views Regarding the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Dispute

Michael D. Swaine
China Leadership Monitor
China’s behavior and rhetoric toward Japan regarding a range of controversial events occurring in the East China Sea from resource claims to naval transits and island territories constitutes a major component of an arguably escalating pattern of...

A Dangerous Rift Between China and Japan

Ian Buruma
Wall Street Journal
On the surface, the dispute is about history, about which country has the best claim to sovereignty over the Senkaku/Diaoyu. It is more about politics, domestic and international, revealing the tangled relations in a region where history is...

Viewpoint

05.13.13

Maoism: The Most Severe Threat to China

Ouyang Bin
Ma Licheng (马立诚) is a former Senior Editorials Editor at People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s most important mouthpiece, and the author of eleven books. In 2003, when Japan’s then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visits to the Yasukuni Shrine...

A Sino-Japanese Clash In The East China Sea

Sheila A. Smith
Council on Foreign Relations
The United States, as a treaty ally of Japan but with vital strategic interests in fostering peaceful relations with China, has a major stake in averting a clash between the two forces and resolving the dispute, if possible. 

China, Japan Island Spat Resurfaces

Yuka Hayashi
Wall Street Journal
Japan and China faced off anew over a group of disputed islands after visits to a controversial war shrine by Japanese politicians rankled Tokyo’s neighbors, raising concerns that tensions may be returning after a period of relative calm. 

Hu Shuli: China Has Still Not Compiled A Common Dream

Keiko Yoshioka
Asahi Shimbun
Hu, who has been described as the most dangerous woman in China because of her investigative reporting, gives an interview about the challenges facing new president Xi Jinping in 2013. 

Reports

04.08.13

Dangerous Waters: China-Japan Relations on the Rocks

International Crisis Group
The world’s second and third largest economies are engaged in a standoff over the sovereignty of five islets and three rocks in the East China Sea, known as the Diaoyu in Chinese and the Senkaku in Japanese. Tensions erupted in September 2012 when...

Changing Faces

Economist
Xi Jinping’s first foreign visits since his inauguration and new appointments in foreign policy-related positions hint at the direction of the new administration’s foreign policy plans and goals.

U.S. Media Misquote China-related Reports, Causing Concerns

Xinhua
Well-known U.S. newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post have raised the eyebrows of many Chinese recently in their two questionable reports on sensitive China-related topics. 

China Muscles U.S. in the Pacific

John Garnaut
Age
Within two decades the United States will be forced out of the western Pacific, says a senior Chinese military officer, amid concerns that increasingly militarised great-power rivalry could lead to war.

A War Between China and Japan: What it Could Cost You

Online MBA
Global economists are keeping their eyes glued to the Asia-Pacific region, where a bitter feud is brewing between two of the world’s most powerful nations over a small collectivity of islands in the East China Sea. The Chinese government argues that...

Caixin Media

02.04.13

Defining the Chinese Dream

A new phase of Sino-American relations is poised to begin now that Xi Jinping has been confirmed as China’s next leader and Barack Obama re-elected U.S. president.In both countries, the debate about foreign policy options has been robust,...

Conversation

01.30.13

China, Japan and the Islands: What Do the Tensions Mean?

Orville Schell, John Delury & more
How did the Diaoyu, Spratly, and Paracel islands come to replace Taiwan as the main source of tension for maritime Asia? And how are we to explain the fact that China’s foreign policy toward its Asian neighbors has now morphed from such slogans as...

Media

01.25.13

Former China State TV Director Bemoans Anti-Japanese Propaganda: “Where’s the Creativity?”

Are Chinese audiences growing weary of anti-Japanese propaganda? It would seem that some, at least, are growing sick of the pathetic villains, superhuman heroes, and lame endings that many Chinese movies and television series about World War II, or...

Caixin Media

12.21.12

When I Met Xi Jinping

I was informed in late November that the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) had invited me to a whole-day meeting in Beijing to discuss my impressions of the 18th National Party Congress and give advice to the Chinese government...

Sinica Podcast

11.16.12

The State of the Navy

Kaiser Kuo from Sinica Podcast
After two weeks focusing on developments at the Eighteenth Party Congress, and with the next generation of China’s leadership now public news for the world to digest, this week on Sinica we take a break from China’s leadership transition and turn...

Books

11.09.12

Strong Society, Smart State

James Reilly
The rise and influence of public opinion on Chinese foreign policy reveals a remarkable evolution in authoritarian responses to social turmoil. James Reilly shows how Chinese leaders have responded to popular demands for political participation with a sophisticated strategy of tolerance, responsiveness, persuasion, and repression—a successful approach that helps explain how and why the Communist Party continues to rule China.Through a detailed examination of China's relations with Japan from 1980 to 2010, Reilly reveals the populist origins of a wave of anti-Japanese public mobilization that swept across China in the early 2000s. Popular protests, sensationalist media content, and emotional public opinion combined to impede diplomatic negotiations, interrupt economic cooperation, spur belligerent rhetoric, and reshape public debates. Facing a mounting domestic and diplomatic crisis, Chinese leaders responded with a remarkable reversal, curtailing protests and cooling public anger toward Japan. Far from being a fragile state overwhelmed by popular nationalism, market forces, or information technology, China has emerged as a robust and flexible regime that has adapted to its new environment with remarkable speed and effectiveness. Reilly's study of public opinion's influence on foreign policy extends beyond democratic states. It reveals how persuasion and responsiveness sustain Communist Party rule in China and develops a method for examining similar dynamics in different authoritarian regimes. He draws upon public opinion surveys, interviews with Chinese activists, quantitative media analysis, and internal government documents to support his findings, joining theories in international relations, social movements, and public opinion.  — Columbia University Press

Features

11.06.12

Fragments of Cai Yang’s Life

Chen Ming
The man suspected of smashing the skull of fifty-one-year-old Li Jianli, the owner of a Japanese automobile, has been arrested by police in Xi’an; he is twenty-one-year-old plasterer Cai Yang.Cai Yang came to Xi’an from his hometown of Nanyang [...

Books

09.27.12

Restless Empire

Odd Arne Westad
As the twenty-first century dawns, China stands at a crossroads. The largest and most populous country on earth and currently the world’s second biggest economy, China has recently reclaimed its historic place at the center of global affairs after decades of internal chaos and disastrous foreign relations. But even as China tentatively reengages with the outside world, the contradictions of its development risks pushing it back into an era of insularity and instability—a regression that, as China’s recent history shows, would have serious implications for all other nations.In Restless Empire, award-winning historian Odd Arne Westad traces China’s complex foreign affairs over the past 250 years, identifying the forces that will determine the country’s path in the decades to come. Since the height of the Qing Empire in the eighteenth century, China’s interactions—and confrontations—with foreign powers have caused its worldview to fluctuate wildly between extremes of dominance and subjugation, emulation and defiance. From the invasion of Burma in the 1760s to the Boxer Rebellion in the early 20th century to the 2001 standoff over a downed U.S. spy plane, many of these encounters have left Chinese with a lingering sense of humiliation and resentment, and inflamed their notions of justice, hierarchy, and Chinese centrality in world affairs. Recently, China’s rising influence on the world stage has shown what the country stands to gain from international cooperation and openness. But as Westad shows, the nation’s success will ultimately hinge on its ability to engage with potential international partners while simultaneously safeguarding its own strength and stability. —Basic Books

Beijing’s Dangerous Game

Perry Link from New York Review of Books
Over the past few days, angry crowds in more than thirty Chinese cities have trashed Japanese stores, overturned Japanese cars, shouted “Down with Japan,” and carried banners that demand Chinese sovereignty over the uninhabited Diaoyu Islands in the...

Caixin Media

09.17.12

How a Protest in Beijing Stuck to the Script

On the afternoon of September 16, rows of policemen and security personnel in black T-shirts lined Beijing’s Liangmaqiao Road near the Japanese embassy during protests over the Diaoyu Islands controversy. Security guards were visible everywhere,...

Diaoyu in Our Heart: The Revealing Contradictions of Chinese Nationalism

Helen Gao
Atlantic
There was another side to the anti-Japanese demonstrations that rocked Chinese cities this weekend, reacting to Japanese activists who had landed on a disputed island chain in the East China Sea. As Chinese protesters asserted their national...

China Conflicted Over Anti-Japan Protests

Brian Spegele
WSJ: China Real Time Report
Popular Chinese websites on Monday ran photos from anti-Japan protests across the nation, showing images of flipped-over and smashed Japanese-model cars in apparent reaction to a China-Japan dispute over a clutch of rocky islands.But in a country...

Anti-Japan Protests Erupt in China Over Disputed Island

Keith Bradsher, Martin Fackler, and...
New York Times
Anti-Japanese protests spread across China over the weekend, and the landing of Japanese activists on a disputed island on Sunday sharply intensified tensions between the two countries.

Books

05.11.12

Midnight in Peking

Paul French
January, 1937: Peking is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, lavish cocktail bars and opium dens, warlords and corruption, rumors and superstition—and the clock is ticking down on all of it. In the exclusive Legation Quarter, the foreign residents wait nervously for the axe to fall. Japanese troops have already occupied Manchuria and are poised to advance south. Word has it that Chiang Kai-shek and his shaky government, long since fled to Nanking, are ready to cut a deal with Tokyo and leave Peking to its fate. Each day brings a racheting up of tension for Chinese and foreigners alike inside the ancient city walls. On one of those walls, not far from the nefarious Badlands, is a massive watchtower—haunted, so the locals believe, by fox spirits that prey upon innocent mortals.Then one bitterly cold night, the body of an innocent mortal is dumped there. It belongs to Pamela Werner, the daughter of a former British consul to China, and when the details of her death become known, people find it hard to credit that any human could treat another in such a fashion. Even as the Japanese noose on the city tightens, the killing of Pamela transfixes Peking. Seventy-five years after these events, Paul French finally gives the case the resolution it was denied at the time. Midnight in Peking is the un-put-downable true story of a murder that will make you hold your loved ones close, and also a sweepingly evocative account of the end of an era. —Penguin Books

Why They Hate Japan

Ian Buruma from New York Review of Books
1.Those who think that the Japanese are a little odd will have been confirmed in their prejudice by the behavior of Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro during his June visit to the United States. The social highlight was a trip to Graceland, home of...

AsiaWorld

Ian Buruma from New York Review of Books
To stand somewhere in the center of an East Asian metropolis, Seoul, say, or Guangzhou, is to face an odd cultural conundrum. Little of what you see, apart from the writing on billboards, can be described as traditionally Asian. There are the faux-...