Sino-Japanese relations: cooperation, competition, or status quo?
Taylor, Fred H.
Olsen, Edward A.
Miller, Alice L.
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Over the course of their history, bilateral Sino-Japanese relations have experienced a paradoxical relationship of autonomy and interdependence, mutual respect and suspicion, and admiration and condescension. The approach these regional powers take towards their bilateral relations -- whether it is competition, cooperation, or the status quo -- will circumscribe the framework for regional stability in the coming decades. To the casual observer, the cultural animosities stemming from World War II atrocities might indicate that diplomatic relations will be forever troubled. However, mutually beneficial economic ties have always existed between these two compatible economies. This thesis unravels the complex relationship by examining the salient diplomatic, economic, and security issues. It finds that the doomsayers who cite virulent anti-Japanese nationalism in China are too pessimistic and the liberally inclined advocates of economic interdependence are too optimistic. It also finds that security concerns in the Taiwan Straits and the East China Sea have generally been quelled by the pragmatic political elites on both sides, who have managed to diffuse any potential escalation into armed conflict. Thus, the future for Sino-Japanese relations portends a continuation of the status quo, with bounded fluctuations between the optimists and the doomsayers.
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