Chinese-Japanese Relations in the Twenty-First Century: Complementarity and Conflict

By Marie Söderberg | Go to book overview

6

The background and trend of the partnership
Jin XideThroughout the 1990s the Chinese-Japanese relationship has been undergoing a structural change. What has happened in the relationship? Why has it changed? How do we define the new stage of the Chinese-Japanese relationship? How do we foresee its future progress? We get the most reliable answers to these questions by shedding light on the background, the meaning and the future trend of the so-called China-Japan partnership. In late November 1998, when Chinese President Jiang Zemin made an official visit to Japan, the governments of China and Japan published a joint declaration in which the two countries agreed on the future goal of building a Partnership of Friendship and Cooperation for Peace and Development. Subsequently many people, not only Chinese and Japanese, have expressed their doubts on the results of Jiang's visit to Japan, especially on the China-Japan partnership that is the key notion of the joint declaration. Not a few people regarded Jiang's visit as a total failure and even saw the so-called partnership as a meaningless word. In my opinion, many people have failed to see the important breakthrough made during the visit for the following reasons: the too high and too idealistic expectations for the improvements of the Chinese-Japanese relationship and a failure to compare the positive trend of the relationship made by the visit of 1998 with that of the mid-1990s when China and Japan experienced the worst situation of political friction since they normalised their bilateral relations in 1972. Moreover, many people focused their attention on the history issue and an emotionally charged atmosphere then existed between the two countries so that they could barely see the overall picture of the new bilateral partnership. In addition, different approaches and standpoints between Chinese and Japanese people have also made great differences to how one evaluates the results of Jiang's visit and the declared goal of the China-Japan bilateral partnership. Let us return to the original question. How does one evaluate the Chinese- Japanese relationship in recent years as well as its future trend? The answer lies in how to understand the meaning of the partnership. In the mid-1990s, China and Japan faced four kinds of future scenarios for their bilateral relationship:
• The first was the worst-case scenario in which the two countries would fail to

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Chinese-Japanese Relations in the Twenty-First Century: Complementarity and Conflict
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures vii
  • Preface xi
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Note on Names xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 9
  • 1 - Mirror for the Future or the History Card? 10
  • 2 - Sino-Japanese Relations in the Context of the Beijing-Tokyo- Washington Triangle 32
  • 3 - Engagement Japanese Style 52
  • 4 - Sino-Japanese Relations and Ballistic Missile Defence (Bmd) 69
  • 5 - The Taiwan Question 88
  • 6 - The Background and Trend of the Partnership 103
  • 7 - The Role of Oda in the Relationship 114
  • 8 - Economic Relations 130
  • 9 - Japanese Firms in China 154
  • 10 - Managing the Global-Local Dilemma 177
  • Index 195
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