Archive for January, 2013

Heightened Tensions in East China Sea: Reactions from China and Japan

Earlier this month, after China repeatedly flew surveillance aircraft into disputed airspace with Japan and prompted Tokyo to send F-15s in response, China sent fighters of its own into the East China Sea on January 10th. This post highlights commentary from China and Japan on this area fraught with contention between the two countries.

CHINA

Chinese commentary provided scathing criticism of Japan’s actions in the dispute, blaming the Shinzo Abe administration and the United States for escalation in tensions.

  • Li Qingsi, a professor at the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China, added that “China has been earnestly persuading Japan to reflect on its war crimes, but its efforts have not resonated with the international community, especially the US, which believes an anti-China Japan will be conducive to its ‘return to Asia’ strategy.
  • The China Daily wrote, “In recent years, countries like Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam have not only lodged unwarranted claims over China’s territorial waters and islands in the East China Sea and the South China Sea…they have also tried to enlist support from countries outside the region for their ill-grounded claims. (more…)
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Asian Powers Expect South Korea’s New President to Improve Bilateral Relations

Last month, voters in South Korea elected Park Geun-Hye as their next president. Today’s post summarizes commentary in the South Korean press, as well as Japanese and Chinese expectations of how the new president will shape future bilateral relations. 

SOUTH KOREA

In South Korea, editorials urged President-elect Park Geun-Hye to focus on a variety of issues, reflecting conflicting interests on what direction the ROK should move towards.

  • “It is the wish for the country’s economic revival that gave Park a mandate” in the election, saidYonhap News Agency. “One of the important tasks now is to raise the country’s growth potential, which experts worry could dip below the 2 percent line in the coming 10 years.”
  • Another Yonhap editorial emphasized that “National unity should be the name of the game as we mark the new year. It would be no exaggeration that the country’s fate depends on whether it can overcome conflicts along ideological, regional, and generational lines and advance its national unity and harmony.”
  • Commentary was mixed on the direction of South Korea’s foreign policy. “Take charge of US-Korea relations,” urged an op-ed in the Joongang Daily. While Korea has made great strides on the global stage, the essay argued that Korea’s ability to elevate its standing with the US has been hampered by a lack of understanding of Washington’s subculture; an insufficient lobbying presence; and a persistent subservient attitude. (more…)
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