Prolonged Diaoyu estrangement likely, not war
Global Times | 2013-11-6 0:18:01
By Global Times
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Will the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands intensify and push China and Japan to war? Most analysts have so far said no, it will not because they believe that Japan dares not, and China doesn't want to fight a war.

Although many Chinese people are infuriated by Japan's provocations and would perhaps like to see Japan being taught a lesson, Chinese society is rational and believes that war cannot solve the Diaoyu dispute. The Chinese people largely only try to see Japan's aggression be suppressed.

Many Chinese researchers on Japan hold that Japan has few advantages in having a war with China. Once a war breaks out, Japan will sink into chaos and its current government be bound to lose politically.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with his hard-line attitude toward China, is in reality trying to amend Japan's constitution to create a path for the military's rise. Neither he nor the country actually wants a full-scale war with nuclear power China. But nothing is absolute.

Japan has fought wars with China, Russia and the US. Its "adventure" often has been suicidal. It is difficult to tell how the intentions of China and Japan will meet in future.

China, though, has an edge over Japan in strategic terms.

Japan has played the role of an aggressor for the past few years but the country has repeatedly failed to break out of its geopolitical dilemma.

Meanwhile, China's military spending has increased, its navy presence spreads from the Miyako Strait to the Pacific and Japan has no choice but to accept and adapt to these facts.

Japan has made use of the Yasukuni Shrine to vent its disaffection for China but China can turn around to press Tokyo on historical issues.

Influenced by South Korea and some Western countries, the Yasukuni Shrine cannot therefore offer strategic leverage to Japan over China. Present-day Japan is ambitious and seeks to provoke but it does not have the appetite for war.

Japan's frustrations and anxieties are clearly felt. It should be given some space to sort out its internal politics. We should avoid falling into the "China fear" trap that right-wing forces in Japan are trying to create.

We need to be clear that Diaoyu dispute has no solution in short time. Even the two countries resort to war, there won't be easy victory, but rather an expensive step before the two exploring a peaceful solution.

China has no reason to fear Japan and China's Japan policy should be based on the "carrot and stick" approach. That way China should be able to restrain Japan without touching raw nerves.


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