Daniel Lynch: The CCP’s Cynical Power Play

Thanks to Daniel Lynch for the following comment:

If you read the sections quoted below of the Guardian article, you will see that Japanese Foreign Minister Machimura yesterday apologized–again–while also proposing a joint study of China’s and Japan’s history. Koizumi has not visited the Yasukuni Shrine this year, and it would be hard to imagine him going under the current circumstances. So what exactly does China want?

If you read the China Daily article (which also confirms Machimura’s apology), you will see that Chinese Foreign Minister Li insists that the (or “a”) “correct view of history” is the necessary precondition for improved relations. So it’s no longer a matter of apologizing. Now history must be written “correctly.” And it’s not a matter of Chinese and Japanese scholars together studying the history, and writing it in a jointly-satisfactory, objective way: Machimura’s proposal. Instead, it’s a matter of China arrogantly dictating the history. After all, how could China possibly agree to a serious joint study of history when that would open up all of Beijing’s historical crimes for the world to see?

All of this is, in short, nothing more than a cynical CCP power play, manipulating Chinese nationalists’ (who constitute only a tiny proportion of the Chinese population) bloodlust for domination within Asia.

From the Guardian article:

The foreign ministry spokesman, Hasuhisa Takashima, said Japan had proposed a joint study of the history of the two countries, a fund to promote exchanges of students and a meeting between the Japanese prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, and the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, when they are at a regional conference in Indonesia later this week.

Apart from talks in third countries, the two countries’ leaders have not met since 1999. Beijing has repeatedly turned down requests for a meeting on the grounds that the Chinese people are offended by Mr Koizumi’s annual visits to the Yasukuni shrine, which honours Japan’s fallen soldiers, including a dozen war criminals.

Mr Machimura offered no concessions on this issue, but repeated his government’s contrition for the war. “Japan as a nation expresses deep remorse, deep regret and sincere apologies to the people of China and other Asian countries,” Mr Takashima quoted [Machimura] as saying.

From the China Daily article:

Li said the a [sic] correct view of history is a precondition for improving and developing China-Japan relations.


Nobutaka said Japan’s invasion into China in modern history brought great damage to the Chinese people. The Japanese side feels deep regret for that and once again expresses deep remorse and apology, he said.

The Japanese side will draw profound lessons from history and will continue to adopt a path of peaceful development, he said.



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