The Hot Zone
China's newly announced air defense identification zone over the East China Sea aims to shore up national security
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Weekly Watch
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Dangerous Currents Around Diaoyu
Cover Stories Series 2013> Dangerous Currents Around Diaoyu
UPDATED: February 6, 2013 NO. 7 FEBRUARY 14, 2013
Time to Mend Fences

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's upcoming visit to the United States is bound to come under close scrutiny in China. The postponed trip, the first since Abe took office late last year, takes place at a time when the two neighbors remain entangled in a protracted dispute over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands.

When Abe was sworn in as Japan's new prime minister, there was cautious optimism that he would take a more realistic attitude. But those hopes lay in tatters after Abe unveiled a self-contradictory approach that aroused suspicions from China. While making positive gestures to China through the visits of high-profile politicians, he has clung to an uncompromising stance. Notably, he has cozied up to other nations in the region including those having territorial disputes with China such as Viet Nam and the Philippines in an apparent bid to hem in China.

What complicates matters is that the United States, which helped sow discord out of Cold War mentality, has weighed in with statements that most Chinese observers believe are vague and biased. Then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently expressed opposition to "any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration," implicitly putting the blame on China.

It should be noted that China was not the one that changed the status quo. China has long held the position that the dispute can be shelved when conditions are not ripe to resolve it. The current round of tensions flared up in September 2012 following the Japanese Government's "nationalization" of some of these islands, a unilateral move that forced China, the islands' legitimate owner, to react. China is not the instigator of trouble; rather, its actions aim to cope with provocation from Japan. Encouragingly, anti-Japanese nationalistic sentiments that saw the outbreak of massive protests at the outset are ebbing away, with rational discussions dominating public opinion in China.

The ball is now in Japan's court. The Abe administration is expected to take steps to address China's concerns so that the two countries can engage in substantive consultations. Ahead of Abe's widely watched visit to the United States, it is also hoped that Washington should play a constructive role, refrain from sending wrong signals and prevent the visit from becoming part of Abe's alleged scheme to ally against China.

Top Story
-Protecting Ocean Rights
-Partners in Defense
-Fighting HIV+'s Stigma
-HIV: Privacy VS. Protection
-Setting the Tone
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved