With all of the tension and lack of constructive dialogue surrounding the territorial disputes between China and Japan, I get the feeling that this year’s anniversary of the Nanjing massacre digs a little deeper into the wound for both Japan and China. Like the article states, when it comes to the matter of burying the hatchet for these two countries, both sides have made attempts and have also put up barriers. The Chinese not calling for war reparations and the Japanese willingness to offer exclusive loans to a developing China were both moves in the right direction. However the unwillingness of China to acknowledge Japanese assistance, has led to a Chinese public that is unaware of Japan’s economic assistance. While I feel even if this was common knowledge it wouldn’t change to many minds, I think it is something that should be known for the Chinese people. Also, I think that the Japan’s utmost attempts to not specifically acknowledge any atrocities committed towards the Chinese is a grave error on their part. I think now more than ever with the hyper militarization going on in East Asia, a direct specific apology is required of Japan. If anything, this apology could put China in a corner when it comes to the grievances it has towards the Japanese. I think an apologetic Japan could greatly cool much of the fervor surrounding Chinese anti-Japanese protests. At the same time, a grateful and acknowledging China might breath some life back into an exhausted Japan, that the article so casually mentioned, and cause a movement towards increased dialogue with China.
In the end, it seems that both sides are feeling that they have exhausted all of their options at making amends when they clearly haven’t and the only reason they are blind to these unexplored options stem from the increased nationalistic fervor in the region.
I never thought I would see the day when passports were used by nations to provoke territorial disputes. China’s new passport includes a page where Chinese territories are outlined. Of course, China took the opportunity to include all of the areas that are currently in dispute with many East Asian nations and Taiwan. This is yet another prod by the Chinese at the tension filled issues that plague East Asia today.
Two can play at that game. India has made a very similar change to their new passports and have put a map in theirs that outline an area that has been in dispute with China as Indian territory. India claims that the new Chinese passport is completely unacceptable. The sentiments are shared by many other East Asian nations. The Philippines and Vietnam have even gone as far as to refused to stamp the new Chinese passport. Could the Chinese have started a new nationalistic trend of putting your territorial claims on your passports, disputed claims included?
Personally, this move seems extremely childish to me and the statement it makes is worth no more than the paper that is wasted for it. However, I feel that this could either be scrubbed quickly and the passports go back to normal or we could see most if not all East Asian nations saving a spot on their passports for territorial claims. For now I say, better claims being made with paper than bullets.
This deal with S. Korea has me wondering of the big picture intentions that the U.S. has with this recent change in policy. While I believe that N. Korea is a threat to the nations around it and does need to be watched closely because of its erratic behavior in the past, I don’t believe it warrants this recent deal. This deal not only puts all of N. Korea in range of S. Korean missiles but much of China’s industrious and resource rich north as well. While Beijing is kept out of range, this is not really a factor considering that much of the resources derived from the northeast of China are now withing missile range of S. Korea. On top of this, Japan received a very similar deal weeks ago when the U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta visited. Now two nations, very close to China, have had upgraded missiles systems under the pretext of N. Korean aggression. However, I feel this is more a move to contain China than to deter N. Korea. The recent U.S.”pivot” to East Asia seems to mean bringing back the Cold War era tactic of containment because of the perceived threat that the U.S. sees towards its military hegemony in East Asia from Chinese militarization.
Thanks to Hegamonic China, the Spratley Islands and the Scarborough Shoal are the new Dokdo/Takeshima despite the islands being in the Philippine’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Though for some reason the creator of this map included Ferdinand Marcos’ old claim for Sabah. Word is that China’s started a cyber war and is DDoSing PLDT internet connections within the country.
What this map is missing is the presence of the US 7th Fleet sitting between Taiwan and the mainland. While regional hegemony is heavily in favor of the PRC, the US and its huge military presence should never be forgotten.