Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Recent Sino-Japanese Relations: How Long Will the Thaw Last?

Recent Sino-Japanese Relations: How Long Will the Thaw Last?

The Asia Dialogue

Relations between the world’s largest and second largest economies look a lot better compared with less than a year ago when Beijing’s China Daily opined that it was “no exaggeration to say that the past five years have been among the darkest days in Sino-Japanese ties since the two established formal diplomatic relations [in 1972].”  In May, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang paid a visit to Japan, the first such visit in eight years. The two sides signed several agreements, including a memorandum of understanding on setting up a maritime and air liaison mechanism that been under negotiation for more than a decade. A centrepiece of the agreement was the creation of a hotline, first agreed on in principle at a 2007 summit but never finalized due to differences of opinion on the sovereignty of the Japanese-administered islands known as the Diaoyutai in China and the Senkaku in Japan, and whether the waters around them would be included. The 2018 version left both issues in abeyance, agreeing that no geographic references would be included.

Continue Reading