08 February 2014
Sino-Japanese ties, strained by territorial and historical disputes, took a further beating two weeks ago after a speech by Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe at the World Economic Forum in Davos in which he called on the global community to stand up to an increasingly assertive China.
Likening Sino-Japanese rivalry to that between Britain and Germany before World War I, Abe warned that Chinese military expansion, if unchecked, could have grave consequences for the world. Not surprisingly, these remarks received a sharp rebuke from Beijing calling Japan the “Nazis of the East” deliberately skirting the issue of its wartime past.
Given China’s growing prominence over the past decade, it is widely assumed that Beijing’s assertive behaviour reflects its broader intentions in dominating the region. Indeed China’s unilateral creation of an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) last November has been criticised by many observers, both within and outside Asia, as an act of hostility and not in accordance with the rules of the international system. In response, China simply , not surprisingly , reiterated its sovereign right to stake its claims, without bilateral or multilateral consensus.
… Benjamin Ho is an Associate Research Fellow in the Multilateralism and Regionalism Programme at Singapore’s #124 S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
IDSS / RSIS / Print
Last updated on