April 20, 2005

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Japan/China tensions (Updated April 20th)

Note: I am adding to previous coverage, starting from the Update below. The previous coverage is below the fold, in chronological order. The Huanxi riots are covered in another post.

Update April 20th

* Winston Marshall has a typically thorough look at Asian nationalism - he's optimistic that economic reality will force a reconciliation but not solve the longer term problems.
* Larry Kudlow also examines the China mess, saying America's China policies aren't helping the current tensions (via IP)
* Scott Kirwin says the onus is on China to reign things in.
* Some important upcoming dates to watch in this dispute.
* Thomas Barnett says the lack of US interest in the dispute is a problem and the solution is in Japan's hands. He also says:

Everyone knows the outcome: China will get big, Japan will align its stars increasingly with Beijing in the region, and the US will have to go along with that. But everyone is working against that outcome now in an almost knee-jerk fashion.
Read the whole thing.
* Another first hand account with pictures from Mitch in Shanghai.
* Spike notes an interesting piece of hypocrisy over the Japan textbooks and attitudes to Nazi insignia.
* A Japanese apology could be the last thing China actuallly wants.
* Fons says there will be more no more demonstrations tolerated and that Shanghai's government was sending out mixed signals.
* Many in Japan are blaming the Japanese PM for the troubles.


Previous coverage of the anti-Japan riots: April 11th and April 12th.

My own thoughts: There is a clear disconnect in understanding on both sides. Many Japanese cannot understand the depth of feeling by China. Most Chinese cannot understand why Japan continues to provoke. The way forward is better communication and understanding. The reality of the growing economic ties between the two countries is this understanding will come. As Chinese and Japanese businesses deal together, as Chinese work for Japanese bosses in factories in China, as Chinese provincial and local governments deal with Japanese business, as Chinese tourists travel to Japan and Chinese business venture into the Japanese market. When people start dealing with people, rather than abstract concepts, barriers tend to fall quickly.

The Chinese riots also reflect a major domestic political change. The Chinese Communist Party has long ceased to be a party of Communism. It has instead switched to becoming a party of nationalism. It suits to use such occassions as an outlet to allow people to vent. It would much rather than anger is directed externally than people look inwardly and discuss Government failings, such as the riots in Dongyang (more on them in another post). The problem is China will find it hard to contain the emotions unleashed and that will be to its detriment.

China and Japan are both rising global powers. They are both grappling with China's economic rise but also with their emergence as global rather than only regional players. Sometimes that requires setting aside self-interest for a broader global good. It's an issue the United States constantly grapples with. This time China has a chance to assume the mantle of world statesman and deal with this situation. It makes good sense for Japan to join the UN Security Council. In the longer term it will be to China's benefit to have Japan there. To do that China's Government will have to look far further ahead than they have until now and show a willingness to challenege the Chinese public's perceptions rather than pander to them. At the same time some understanding and political nous for Japan would not go astray. Japan knows the reaction it gets from history texts and shrine visits. It might not understand them but it can deal with them by showing sensitivity.

The major issues here seem insolvable. But what's needed is some hard-headed pragmatism. An agreement to disagree but to work together to avoid such flare-ups would be a start. Actually meaning it would be better. Otherwise everyone in East Asia is a loser.

Other reading 13th April

* Curzon restates his argument why none of the fuss makes sense. Read the whole thing and the excellent comments for an overview of why this is a storm in a teacup from the Japanese side. I don't agree with some of his points but I do agree that it seems unlikely that any form of Japanese contrition will satisfy the Chinese public.
* Foreign Dispatches echoes Curzon's points and notes the intensity of anti-Japanese feeling is increasing with the passage of time.
* China, Japan and South Korea are holding a meeting of senior official on greater regional co-operation. I imagine there is plenty else being discussed. The meeting is slated for April 17th, which Asian Gazette points out is also the anniversary of the end of the first Sino-Japanese war. They also discuss Japan's nuclear potential.
* Joe Jones notes Taiwan is worried about the impact of the riots and the sidestep by China's Foreign Ministry over an apology to Japan over the riots.
* Tanuki Ramble says China is being hypocritical in talking about the past and posts a comparison with Tibet.
* In Korea the dispute with Japan is being played out in the corner of TV screens and in train stations.
* ESWN has a comprehensive post (linked yesterday but it bears relinking) outlining the roots of anti-Japanese feeling in China.
* A chronology of Japan's apologies to Korea.
* Sean has more on Japan's efforts to both inflame and defuse the situation.
* Sometimes the best thing to do is keep your mouth shut: “In Korea, the comfort women are now regularly putting on a performance in front of the Japanese embassy. I’ve heard, however, that they aren’t really comfort women, but North Korean agents." - Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform vice chairman Fujioka Mobukatsu.
* (15:07) ESWN this time looks at the falsification of history in China and translates an article with this conclusion:

Why are the many Chinese historians who are angrily challenging and criticizing the new Japanese history school books not also angrily challenging and openly criticizing the historical lies made up by the Chinese Communists? Worse yet, most of those Chinese historians who are criticizing the Japanese lies had been participants in the vast project of the ideological departments to create these historical lies.

Under these circumstances, you would have to suppose that the Chinese Communists will only lie to fool its own people, while they will respect the historical facts when they speak to the outside world about the Sino-Japanese War. But based upon its consistent record of lying, it is impossible to get anyone to believe that. How can anyone believe that a political regime which lies to its own nationals every day and its official historians will be honest with the outside world?

* China's chatroom warriors have been busy, manipulating a CNN poll on the issue with precise instructions. They must have finished up their work in Zimbabwe early.
* (18:02) Andres puts together an impressive piece that should be read in full, titled 0.3% and the free society. His conclusion:
It does no one any good, least of all China, for any of us to engage in apologetics for an unfree society that exhibits the unhealthy and even dangerous characteristics shown all too vividly these past couple of weeks. Continued indulgence of this lack of freedom is no virtue, criticism of the problems this lack causes is no vice. Unfree societies are dangerous to themselves and to their neighbors. Anti-Japanese riots cannot continue forever: as a social topic this will pass and others will appear. However, the problems associated with an unfree society will still be here and that is the real issue.
Amongst other gems he also notes a point about both these protests and the ones after the Belegrade Embassy bombing in 1999: the students used the protests to test how far they could push the government and if the government proved weak in their response then the topic of the protests would turn domestic. That dovetails with the Huaxi riots, but now it's not just students testing the boundaries and the internet and mobile phones are playing a far bigger role.
* Andres also pointed out a tangentially related piece by Running Dog on being sorry in China.

Update April 14th

* Yesterday (see below) I said Japan could go some way to cooling tensions by becoming more sensitive to the potential impact of actions. So awarding drilling rights in a contentious part of the East China Sea is not a smart move. On the other hand a joint history study is a smart move.
* Kim Jong Il joins in on the textbook controversy.
* Proving China has no monopoly on crazy loons, China's consulate in Osaka recevied a threatening letter with bullet casings.
* Good Asia Times article: China's fury doesn't wash, but why the froth?
* Gaijin Biker finds another point over which Japan and China can find common ground...Israel.
* Thoughts on the nationalism virus hitting Korea, China and Japan.
* Leylop says no to anti-Japan (via T-Salon)
* Betelnut has a three piece essay on China and history: On the uses of History; Facing up to history; the CCP and history. In summary it is about China's use of history to attack Japan while ignoring its own.
* Andrea notes a protest due in Xiamen this weekend; Fons notes the same in Shanghai, and Danwei also has heard of the Shanghai gathering. Jeremy also reports on a planned Shenzhen march. There is a protest due in Hong Kong this weekend as well. If China wants to put a lid on this thing, it will need to stop these marches this weekend.

April 15th coverage

There's an interesting contrast between East Asia and Europe. Germany was able to face up to and sufficiently atone for its actions in WW2 and in return the rest of Europe and the United States responded by banding together and working for a better future. The past was not forgotten but it was not dwelt on either. The result? A Europe now so united it has created the EU and has the euro. Whatever else you think of the EU (and I'm no fan of much of it) it represents a united Europe, something currently impossible in East Asia. Interestingly China is backing Germany and India's attempts at UNSC seats. Along with Brazil the four countries have a pact to push for a seat together. An impasse seems likely, although there are hints that Germany can provide a knife to cut the Gordian Knot by jointly apologising with Japan, providing a face-saving solution and allowing the reform of the UNSC.

East Asia is instead constantly dwelling on the past at the expense of looking to the future. If you are always looking in the rear view mirror you cannot see the road ahead. The past matters. The future matters more.

Other reading April 15th

* Planned protests (repeated from yesterday): Andrea notes a protest due in Xiamen this weekend; Fons notes the same in Shanghai, and Danwei also has heard of the Shanghai gathering. Jeremy also reports on a planned Shenzhen march. Dan Washburn has the detailed instructions on this weekend's protests in Shanghai including the route, what to throw and how to get there. Interestingly it includes how to disseminate the information and a very interesting "Important" section. There is a protest due in Hong Kong this weekend as well. If China wants to put a lid on this thing, it will need to stop these marches this weekend.

The SCMP notes Shanghai public security authorities have not approved anti-Japan marches for this weekend. Could this be the beginning of the end? Plenty of websites, IMs and SMS messages are spreading the word about this weekend's events. Is China realising the subversive nature of modern communications might not always suit its purpose?

The American Consulate in Shanghai has posted another warning about this weekend's possible demonstrations.
* I still think the events in Huanxi matter more than this dust-up.
* Several Japanese web-sites came under cyber attack.
* Gregory Clark says the right analogy is with Germany after WW1, not WW2 and wonders why Japan's right is more anti-West than anti-China.
* Amy has been involved in an interesting email debate.
* The Wall St Journal agrees with me.
* Japan isn't the only one with textbook trouble. Nomad notes a South Korean exam question Americans would find interesting.
* Some are drawing a connection between the Huanxi riots and the anti-Japan ones. The same article agrees with my statement that no apology from Japan is likely to ever be deemed enough in the eyes of many in China.
* Curzon follows Japan's netizens thoughts on the merits and problems with the Japanese textbook in question, excerpting several Japan Amazon reader reviews.
* ESWN translates some Hong Kong and Chinese views on the matter sparked by two provactive articles.

From The Standard, a cartoon that perfectly sums up the situation:


Update April 17th/18th

* China clamped down hard on activists in Beijing, preventing large protests there. But Shanghai saw large protests. Dan Washburn has first hand reports, photos and video. There were reports of protests in around a dozen Chinese cities and the Japanese Foreign Minister's visit to China did little to ease tensions. China refused to apologise to Japan over the "spontaneous" protests. Elton John was right.
* Tom has accounts from Hong Kong and Shenzhen's protests. Fumier estimates more reporters than protesters in Hong Kong, with many of the rest trying to get into Sogo and Japanese restaurants.
* Fons has a comprehensive first hand account of the Shanghai protests. He also notes the continuing silence by the mainland media, following orders from the top. SE Asian Expat has several more first hand photos.
* Photojournalist Philippe Roy has an excellent set of photos from the protests.
* Running Dog is back from holidays just in time. First hand account of the Carnival of Hate and a more reflective piece pointing out that not far below the surface of these protests is a disgusting undercurrent of xenophobia. It was only a month ago it was Condi Rice.
* Chris Myrick was there and recounts his experience and has more than 100 photos of the event. Ian Hamet also has a first hand account of the protests (via IP who also has some photos). He also has thoughts on the implications of the protest. Tom isn't impressed by Ian or his coverage. Updated: Ian responds to Tom's "hissy fit". Powerline links to a couple of wire reports, noting it hasn't been getting much play in the US and stating it's chiefly over Japan's UN Security Council bid. Shouldn't bloggers check out some blogs to get a feel for the issues, especially if it's not getting much coverage by mainstream media in the US?
* Andres Gentry's first person account of the Shanghai protest and he has photos too.
* More reaction (again via IP): Brian Dunn agrees with my view the Communists are becoming nationalists (an irony if ever there was one, especially with the planned visit by the KMT's chairman to sign a "civil war accord" with the CCP). Mudville Gazette notes several other China stories (EU embargo, Japan constitutional changes) and wonders if they are somehow linked to the protest. For mine that's mixing several issues into one giant plot - the EU backed down thanks to US pressure and the anti-secession law.
* Amy takes a look at the actual changes being made in the Japanese texts. ESWN translates a Chinese blogger who has done the same and concludes the best result will be a consensus on this piece of history. He also looks at how history is taught in Hong Kong.
* ESWN notes that even "non-indoctrinated" Hong Kongers have very negative feelings about Japan from this saga. It should be noted that Hong Kong was in fact the start of several anti-Japanese organisations, such as the Diaoyu Islands group. In that sense Hong Kong has been leading the fashion. Reports and coverage of the Hong Kong protests.
* ESWN ponders if the protests are being stage managed or are pontaneous. Given the conflicting signals, ESWN points out the third and most likely explanation: the paranoia theory. Well worth a read because his theory explains far more than just the recent actions and indeed can be seen as a general theory behind much of what the CCP do.
* Jodi notes the contrasting methods of protest between Japan and China.
* Muninn provides a comprehensive listing of Japan's apologies to China.
* Sean wonders what these protests mean for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
* Cicero questions China's claim to moral supremacy over Japan and notes something I pointed out earlier - the use of mobile phones as a key organising and controlling element in these protests. The broader and more interesting points is how far are China's authorities going to allow unauthorised or semi-official protests to go on for? Because the next one might be on a domestic issue rather than a foreign one. Also see the bottom of this post for a pictoral representation of the same idea.
* Joe Jones notes a small protest in Philadelphia's Chinatown.
* Richard wonders if the exercise has been worth it for China.
* Muninn has an excellent essay titled textbook feedback loop and masochistic history which includes this observation: There is NO such thing as apolitical history, NO such thing as doing a history of “just the facts” and completely impossible to exempt oneself from the present when we look at the past. He argues for everyone, including bloggers, to take this opportunity to explore the contradictions of national history itself, rather than fling accusations of hypocrisy at the Chinese or barrages of hateful insult at the growing historical revisionism in Japan. Good advice. Yet again it seems moderation is being drowned out by shrill extremism.
* Quizas has an excellent look at the role of students in the current demonstrations. The conclusion:

It's entirely possible that the students protesting Japan today want to draw upon the lessons of [Dowager Empress] Cixi and encourage the government to be bellicose even at the cost of development. And considering how important Japanese trade and investment is for China, the students are paradoxically calling for their leaders to command a weaker "stronger" China.
It seems to me some of the best analysis and thinking on the current situation is coming from bloggers rather than the op-ed pages of the papers.
* Fons has some practical advice on dealing with the anti-Japan riots for those in business in China.
* Muninn has some translations from Japanese newspapers editorials on the riots.
* Vodkapundit says China has "found its Jews".
* Belgravia Dispatch argues China's current prosperity is a time to face up to its own past to head off potential trouble down the track.
* Oranckay has links to more pictures from the Shanghai protest.
* Todd Crowell dicusses the lessons of history: ...China and Japan have been rivals for the better part of the last thousand years. It should not be surprising that they are still jockeying for primacy in the region. The two countries are still influenced by their common Confucian culture. In Confucian terms, somebody has to be “big brother” and the other “little brother.”

Update April 19th

* Fons has seen a report that estimates up to half the protesters in Shanghai were cops! He also adds to the idea the Government had a hand in events with his observations on riot control.
* An English editorial by Ming Pao which is frankly terrifying (via ESWN)
* Kofi Annan is pushing for talks between China and Japan. There are hopes Koizumi and Hu will meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Africa summit in Jakarta this week but given the Japanese Foreign Minister achieved nothing in the 2 days he was in Beijing, it seems unlikely any resolution is near.
* Another first hand account of the Shanghai protests by Chinawords.
* Art Chrenkoff weighs in with his thoughts on what all the current China/Japan tensions mean.
* Andrea has covered various Chinese blogger's reactions to the protests.
* Tom thinks it is inflation the CCP is worried about diverting attention from.
* Joi Ito weighs in and sympathises with China's issues. He says:

I'm not trying to trivialize the issues that are being protested by the Chinese, but if they are trying to cause change in Japan, maybe some of them can try to talk to their allies in Japan like me instead of trying to force or scare into submission their enemy. A reasonable bridge building effort between activists and experts on both sides to try to address the issues through tactical maneuvers might be useful.

posted by Simon on 04.20.05 at 07:44 AM in the China politics category.


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0.3% and the Free Society
Excerpt: A fair bit of ink has been spilled either reporting or commenting on the recent anti-Japan riots that have occured in various cities across China the past couple of weeks.
Weblog: Andrés Gentry
Tracked: April 13, 2005 06:42 PM

China and Japan
Excerpt: While all of these issues provide the backdrop, I believe there is a much more sinister reason at work here. This is part of a Chinese government campaign to keep the pressure on Taiwan. The passage of the anti-secession law last month, is the first st...
Weblog: Far East Cynic
Tracked: April 14, 2005 08:36 AM

The Economist on expanding the UN Security Council
Excerpt: Japan, India and Brazil are natural candidates The Economist's leader on the rising tensions between China and Japan weighs in strongly in favour of Japan's inclusion in an expanded UN Security Council. If permanent membership of the council is to be ...
Weblog: The Acorn
Tracked: April 15, 2005 11:02 PM

Excerpt: I've been reading a lot about the maneuvering in Asia between China, India, Australia, and India. Of course, in the midst of all this, it doesn't help U.S. policy that China has been portrayed as a capitalist boomland with the slight burden of a commun...
Weblog: Publius Pundit
Tracked: April 16, 2005 09:47 AM

Simon's Overview of the Media Coverage
Excerpt: Simon World :: Japan/China tensions (Updated April 15th)...
Weblog: daveinchina
Tracked: April 17, 2005 07:35 PM

Protesting Japan
Excerpt: Everyone is asking why China would allow the protests against Japan to continue.
Weblog: M.A.W.B. Squad
Tracked: April 19, 2005 02:06 AM

Irrational Fear
Excerpt: It gave EastSouthWestNorth “the creeps.” Simon World calls it downright “terrifying.” What can this horrific monster be? “It” is an English editorial from Ming Pao. I agree that whoever that wrote the editorial was p...
Weblog: Plum Blossoms
Tracked: April 20, 2005 10:14 AM

Is there any real freedom-of-speech in Japan?
Excerpt: "What does Chinese people cry for in this Anti-Japan Protests?" "How many times should we, Japanese, apologize for what we did in past?" As for me, Japanese, the issue looked like a same old persistent accusation of what Japan did in China during World...
Weblog: でこぼこ翻訳ハジメ
Tracked: April 21, 2005 12:17 PM

Hello world!
Excerpt: A few words about the rational behind this journal, about my relationship to the Internet in general and the blogging community in particular, and about myself. --- It was after the anti-Japanese demonstration (some call it a "riot", and I can't ...
Weblog: Wild Goose Journal
Tracked: April 21, 2005 11:43 PM

Forgiveness, please
Excerpt: Just when I was saying that the Asia-Africa Summit in Jakarta and Bandung would be a big waste of time,
Weblog: Macam-Macam
Tracked: April 22, 2005 08:31 PM

Excerpt: PM Koizumi today in Jakarta:

Prime Minister Jun'ichiro Koizumi spoke at the Asia-Africa Summit that began in Jakarta 22 April. He cited the talk g...

Weblog: The White Peril 白禍
Tracked: April 22, 2005 09:43 PM

Japan Tries To Defuse China Crisis With Apology
Excerpt: In a sign of just how much Japan wants to short-circuit an increasingly nasty crisis with China, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's is repeating an apology for his country's World War II behavior that other Japanese Prime Ministers have given — o...
Weblog: The Moderate Voice
Tracked: April 23, 2005 02:16 AM

Nationalism vs patriotism
Excerpt: While the alert level regarding China's "rise of nationalism" continues to increase, few seem to question why basically the same political trend is referred to as "patriotism" if applied to the US and its "allies". Frankly, I'm baffled here. The aut...
Weblog: Wild Goose Journal
Tracked: April 25, 2005 10:37 AM

Who's reading the Chinese press?
Excerpt: Why do English-language stories on Chinese protests get so much more attention than protest stories that break in the mainland press? When villagers in Zhejiang protested during April, the mainstream media and blogosphere were all over it. When peop...
Weblog: CSR Asia - Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia
Tracked: May 6, 2005 10:55 PM


A random off topic comment, but Simon while I was scrolling down I noticed a small mistake on the left menu bar of your blog. Normally I wouldn't have noticed, and I never had before, but a html error caused the text to extend over the colour boundaries. All of this is irrelevant but the attention did lead me to realize that there is a grammatical error in the text. It reads [Praise (Real, Imagined, & Faint). Amusingly enough this is an example of "Engrish" one would normally expect to find in China. Faint is the incorrect word to use in this situation, the proper choice would be feigned. I can see the reason for the error, they are near homonyms and feigned is not generally used often in colloquial English. However the intended definition inferred from the rest of the passage would be of praise that was insincere or facetious. Faint simply does not fit this definition, but the past form of feign does.


your friendly neighborhood schoolmarm :) .

posted by: Jing on 04.13.05 at 02:09 PM [permalink]

Thanks for pointing it out. I've fixed it.

It must have been there from when the site was redesigned. Thanks for spotting it. I've got some formatting issues in the sidebar but who's got time?

posted by: Simon on 04.13.05 at 02:14 PM [permalink]


I was hoping to leave a trackback to you on this article, but I keep getting an error 404 page whenever I click on 'trackbacks'.


posted by: Gordon on 04.13.05 at 08:25 PM [permalink]

About the joint study proposal:

It is unfortunate that the Japanese government didn't mention the existing joint study of the Sino-Japanese war going on between a group of historians of China, Japan, and the US (see my notes from one of their meetings muninn.net/blog/2004/02/the-state-of-joint-study-of-the-sino-japanese-war.html)

The program was founded by Ezra Vogel at Harvard and has good funding and has continued for some years. (www.fas.harvard.edu/~asiactr/sino-japanese/)

There is also 2 separate projects: 1) The joint study group between Japanese and Korean historians focusing mostly on disagreements on the details of the 1910 annexation but branching out into issues of textbooks. 2) the transnational history textbook project being worked on by a whole group of East Asian scholars.

posted by: Muninn on 04.14.05 at 12:14 PM [permalink]

Muninn: has the group made much progress in finding common ground?

posted by: Simon on 04.14.05 at 03:44 PM [permalink]

As tensions heat up between two of the most powerful Asian nations, with neither willing to 'lose face' by appearing to back down, has Japan just irreversably upped the ante?

In a move certain to further infuriate China, Japan appears to be willing to officially honour those who committed what China believes were 'wartime atrocities'.

I've been following, with some oncern, the unfolding of that story at http://www.survivalistskills.com/NEWS35.HTM

There's also a fascinating page of current news articles the rise of China, the collapsing dollar, the
declining U.S. economy, and the New World Order, at http://www.survivalistskills.com/newsitem.htm, which I've been checking daily!

posted by: Paula McKenzie on 04.21.05 at 11:57 PM [permalink]

Please look this flash file, this is the problem between China and Japan.

posted by: Mona on 04.23.05 at 05:21 AM [permalink]


For several weeks, China has been in prey with an effervescence
antijaponaise which becomes extensive. The wave of demonstrations force which, since the beginning of April, extended from Chengdu with Canton then Peijing and Shanghai with the day before of the visit of the Foreign Minister Machimura Nobutoka, had been preceded by a massive campaign on Internet against the candidature of Japan for a
seat of permanent member of the Security Council of UNO, which would come to decrease by as much the privileged position of Peijing on the international scene.

The reason called upon for these demonstrations, very largely
encouraged by the government and an obliging font, would be the incapacity of Japan to recognize the crimes committed during the Second World war, and the authorization of publication granted by the Japanese authorities to a book of history "revisionist". This indeed hard quarrel since the foundation of the People's Republic of China, whose mode sat its legitimacy, to a large extent, on the "large war of liberation against Japan"; but, instead of calming down with the years, whereas Tokyo expressed official excuses via its Murayama Prime Minister in 1995, that the book of history accused is used only per less than 0,1% of the schoolboys, and that Tokyo proposed the constitution of a common historical commission on the model germano-Polish, it tends on the contrary to be radicalized.

It is that for Peijing propaganda hypernationalist, directed
against a scapegoat quiet a long time, constitutes from now on the single source of ideological legitimacy, in particular near an often frustrated youth which does not make any more comparisons between progress of the current period, unequally distributed, and a time Maoist that she did not know and which one hides besides to him tens of million victims. It is indeed frustration, not only of the population, but also of one mode to the power actually limited which this violence directed against Tokyo translates. Whereas Peijing expresses major ambitions on the international scene, asserting the statute of legitimate and natural representative of the Asian pole, multiplying the declarations against inclinations of independence of Taiwan, with the risk to even harm its true interests like showed it
the adoption in full European debate on the lifting of the embargo of the law antisécession registering in the law the legitimacy of the recourse to the force against Taïpeh, the authorities are confronted with the limits of the Chinese power. At the interior, the mode tests enormous difficulties of solving the tensions which increase, in particular in the field of energy and the environment, to meet the fundamental social needs for the population, which it is in terms of teaching, care or retirement. At outside, in spite of the boastings, Peijing knows that its military capacities, in particular naval, remain too limited to enable him to impose its views.

These are these frustrations that also the racist slogans directed
against "the small" Japanese express. The youth of China, worked by the very aggressive historical presentation of its own textbooks, cannot admit that Japan, ex-"tributaire" Empire of China, succeeded, in spite of the defeat of 1945, to rise in the second place of the world economy where it is maintained today with a GDP five times more important than that of the "immense" China. The success of Japan, more still than that of the United States, indeed signs the failure of the Chinese system, which remains centered on itself and last rancours. The success of Japan also repeats humiliations of China when, as of the era Meiji, Tokyo caught up with in a few tens of years the Western
powers, of which it was going to follow with the dramatic consequences that one knows the model of colonial conquests, whereas Empire of China, incompetent to reform itself, was inserted in the rout.

But it is another frustration which also these demonstrations
antijaponaises express, which make fear with the capacity of the
overflows which could reach it directly and which pushed Peijing to prohibit this weekend any demonstration on the place of Tiananmen. At the sides of the attacks against the Japanese "pigs", other signs indeed appeared proclaiming that "patriotism is legal", thus condemning by advance very possible repression. The effective repression of any organized political opposition remains indeed the absolute rule of the Chinese mode since 1989. In this context, the claim of the right to express and to be opposed in the name of "patriotism" is potentially dangerous for a system on the defensive, which faces many dissatisfactions which usually do not find the possibility of being expressed massively.

Last lesson, finally, the violence of the demonstrations
antijaponaises directed against the Japanese goods to China, whereas Peijing is today the second trade partner of the Archipelago, that more than 16 000 Japanese companies are installed there, that 50 billion dollars are invested there, can only make reflect the foreign investors who a long time chose to deny the "China risk" behind the apparent stability of an authoritative mode.

Seizing all the pretexts, sportsmen, energy competitions at sea of Eastern China or territorial disagreements, the tensions between China and Japan could thus be only worsening, quite simply because, far from being justified in the past according to official theses', they have very to actually see with the future and the way in which the Chinese mode tries to ensure its power in Asia vis-a-vis Japan which asserts its "normality today". In this context, only a major systemic upheaval in China would make it possible, as Mao wrote it, to make close-cropped table of the past to set out again on the basis of new
regional co-operation true.

* Director of the Observatory of the strategies Chinese and Asian of the Iris.

posted by: valerie Niquet on 04.24.05 at 09:30 PM [permalink]

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