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LIST  December 2013

LIST December 2013

Subject:

Re: [Kinmont] China-Japan: Delinking Economics From Politics

From:

gregory clark <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

NBR's Japan Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 1 Jan 2014 08:52:53 +0900

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (27 lines)

On Jan 1, 2014, at 7:16 AM, Japan Forum Member <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Isn't it much easier to believe that this(Richard Katz noting a Chinese desire to return to normal economic relations with Japan) is simply the opening of a second front? Perhaps this thread should be renamed 'changing tactics in the strategic struggle in the economic sphere'? I see no 'delinking'.
> 
> China knows that there are unreliable elements in the business world, akin to the sort of quislings found commonly in national business organizations, a good parallel being the Confederation of British Industry and its attitudes towards the EEC/EU. China can be reasonably sure that by playing up to these, less dependable, interests there is a chance it can weaken PM Abe's domestic political base. 

For as long as I have been involved in the China watching game (now more than 50 years) commentators  have always wanted to assume great cunning and malice emanating from some high command based in Beijing. The latest grossly exaggerated reaction to Beijing's long-delayed and justified announcement of an ADIZ to match that of Japan, is yet another example.

Besides,  if we are talking economy, we are told  that one reason for China's economic problems lies in excessive autonomy given to regional authorities.  

Beijing can and does develop united front positions.  But usually only in reaction to some perceived serious insult, usually in the form of a broken promise.  

That was the origin of the 1962 Sino-Indian dispute (China would go easy on its justified territorial demands if India carried through on its promise for good relations), the Sino-Soviet dispute (Khruschev breaking his nuclear aid promise) and Sino-Japan (Tokyo breaking its Senkakus shelving promise). 

The idea of Beijing having a calculated strategy to disrupt or somehow influence the Japanese economy seems unlikely. 

However, the idea of many Chinese, whether in Beijing or elsewhere, having a visceral dislike of Japan for its lack of apology or remorse over past atrocities, and that this is triggered temporarily each time Japan behaves badly on some issue, is much more likely.  

Gregory Clark 


> 
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