Japanese academic Tomoki Kamo points out that one can no longer rely on economic relations to keep Japan-China relations on an even keel. Trapped in a security dilemma exacerbated by diverging views of the international order, what common interests can Japan and China still find to go the distance?
Former Zaobao editor Lim Jim Koon observes that zaobao.com was recently lumped in with “local media” of China in one of the Japanese media reports. Intentionally or not, this is one of the ways that Singapore’s leading Chinese-language newspaper has sometimes been cast as pro-China or anti-China to suit the narratives of others. As China-US tensions intensify in the new Year of the Rabbit, the paper, and perhaps Singapore too, must brace itself for labels being cast on it, and keep vigilant in staying the course and guarding its own interests.
Since last month, China and South Korea have been engaged in a tussle of tit for tat when it comes to Covid-19 travel controls. From visa suspensions to “yellow tags” on Chinese travellers entering South Korea, it remains to be seen whether the current back and forth will affect months of China’s diplomatic efforts with South Korea, especially since Yoon Suk-yeol took office.
Delivering the keynote address of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute’s Regional Outlook Forum 2023, Singapore’s former Foreign Minister George Yeo spoke about the ways that ASEAN’s weakness is also a strength in the transition to a multipolar world.
If pictures tell a thousand words, these images tell the harrowing tale of wartime units set up by the Japanese in northeast China to conduct experiments, allegedly on humans, in its chemical warfare programme. Yet sending a chill down the spine, they also depict the banality of life that soldiers return to after war. Life goes on but for aggressors and victims alike, the wounded are never the same again.
Japan has recently announced updates to its national defence strategy, which shows a shift of focus from building defence capabilities to developing “counterattack capabilities” in enemy territory, citing the rapidly worsening security environment as the key factor for doing so. Japanese academic Masafumi Iida also suggests cooperation with Southeast Asian nations to stabilise regional situations.
The recently released results of the Japan-China Joint Opinion Survey show changing trends in Japan's and China's perceptions of each other. Factors such as the economy, the Russia-Ukraine war, Taiwan Strait tensions and the media were important influences on public opinions in the past year, with the latter going on to impact foreign policies.
US academic Zhu Zhiqun notes that the US is still trying to exert pressure on its allies to follow its moves to suppress China. However, China is the largest trading partner of over 120 countries. These countries will never forsake their cooperation with China to accommodate the US. In fact, the trend of countries actively developing economic and trade relations with China while maintaining a security partnership with the US looks set to stay.
Academics Guanie Lim and Chengwei Xu examine the close interdependence of Japanese and Chinese firms through the case study of Toyota. Amid the talk of geopolitical tensions accelerating the risk of decoupling, some hard facts may put things into perspective.