insaneconfucius (insaneconfucius) wrote in thefourthestate,

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China vs. Japan Round 2

After another series of protests across China, the Japanese foreign minsiter demanded an apology from China, however, the Chinese foreign minister refused to give an apology while asserting that Japan was "hurting the feeligns of the Chinese people." The rising tensions between Japan and China is becoming a very serious issue.

For China, the Communist Party is attempting to maintain order over the people while allowing them to let off some steam. The protests were imminent as China's ruling party cannont defy the masses that truly wants to let off some steam. The hatred for Japan is genuine, but the protests were also in part political moves by China. The ruling party beyond what the media has said also wants to ensure the masses that China can in time let the people argue over what they want as long as the current political situation is maintained and allowed to evolve. However, the protests has proven that the people are filled with steam and anger and that maybe the protests are spiraling out of control. For the Communist party, the greatest fear now would be a merger between these protests and other political and social problems that have occurred. On an international stage, China has made it clear: Japan can either side with the US and its own nationalism or the rest of East Asia under de facto lead by China.

For Japan, the tensions are in part due to China and themselves. The Chinese has tapped into one of its most powerful aspects of nationalism: the Japanese wartime atrocites. Japan's own nationalism is threatening Japan's future as most of the current tensions are also part of Japan's ruling party to appease conservatives in Japan that prefers a stronger Japan. However, ercent disputes with Japan's neighbors threatens the future of the country. The most obvious is the argument with China over the textbooks, South East China Sea, and Taiwan. The other problem is with South Korea over the textbooks, North Korea, and the islets off the coast of Korea and Japan. Finally, the Japanese prime minister have also went to the disputed islets between Japan and Russia to declare the islands an integral part of Japan. Moreover, Japan is also arguing with Russia about where and how a trans-Siberian oil pipeline will be built to connect Japan with oil wells in Russia.

Japan's usual passive role in East Asia is changing as recent tensions with its neighbors show that Japan will no longer sit still. Recent growing nationalism in Japan has roused the public to request for more engagement and firmness by the Japanese government and conservative hawks have further made these issues a priority. Japan's recent alignment with Washington policies can be beneficial but also damaging in long term. In all of Asia including Australia, Japan is the only country to officially declare support for Taiwan in the event of Chinese invasion while other countries inlcuding Australia have pledged support for China in light of such an event. Moreover, South Korea's recent declaration to step up joint military moves with China along with Washington's withdrawal of troops from the peninsula shows that South Korea is neither in the Washington defense plans for Asia nor is it in the best interest of South Korea to align themselves with Washington. Japan's recent moves risk isolating the country from the rest of Asia as the clout of China's influence rises. According to a Japanese international affairs professor, Japan's current decisions to not anger the US or Europe is smart, however, at the rate it's going with Asia, Japan might as well give up a permanent seat in the UN and the fusion energy project, which requires South Korea's approval.

For the two Asian giants this is a time to becareful about their own domestic and international policies as many things can occur within the next few years. Some would ask what does this have to do with the US? Remember this, the tensions in Asia are reminders for Americans to beware of over nationalism or growing nationalism, which is occuring in America. Beware of how you define nationalism/patriotism and how you act in the name of it because it can turn into fascism.
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