We should compete and cooperate with China on the similar time

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China responded sharply. The deputy spokesman for his Overseas Ministry criticized Japan for “permitting the wolf to enter the room”, highlighting China’s obsession with its competitors with the USA.

On the similar time, financial interdependence with China is deepening each day. Due to COVID-19, Japanese exports to the USA, ASEAN, and the EU all fell by greater than 25 % within the interval from April to September 2020. However in China, they elevated 3.5 %. 100.

Japan’s commerce circle welcomed the conclusion of the regional financial partnership negotiations final 12 months, in addition to President Xi Jinping’s remarks that China was prepared to hitch the total and progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership ( TPP).

Japan hopes the USA will return to the TPP, but it surely appears to be like tough within the close to future, even below the Biden administration.

Japan has discovered, maybe earlier than many different international locations, the tough actuality that it should compete and cooperate with China on the similar time. The Japanese have been implementing this two-pronged strategy to China for a number of years. The Chinese language aspect has additionally realized that it can’t keep away from competing and cooperating concurrently. Now we’re all in the identical boat.

The 2-pronged strategy is the one manner ahead. However it isn’t a simple highway, as a result of it’s intrinsically contradictory and for some psychologically insufferable. We will need to have the resilience and knowledge to reside with this contradiction with out going into battle.

These dealing with stress from China’s rise don’t have any alternative however to strengthen their cooperation on the safety entrance to discourage any adventurous motion of the Individuals’s Liberation Military. On the similar time, we have to promote our cooperation with China within the realms of non-traditional financial system and safety, akin to local weather change, well being and security, anti-piracy, anti-drug trafficking, and so forth.

Sustaining the suitable stability will grow to be more and more tough. It’s because competitors will intensify on the one hand, and cooperation will deepen on the opposite. Which means our nations can be divided internally, and the division may deepen and grow to be bitter. We should have interaction in sturdy inner coordination and persuasion.

How lengthy do we’ve to endure this tough state of affairs? Till China modifications.

Will China change? It has modified, and can proceed to alter. There’s a elementary contradiction between their modernizing society and the rule of 1 celebration. That’s the reason Xi will present a powerful China to its individuals to legitimize its domination of energy. That’s why final month high Chinese language diplomats needed to name the media within the assembly room in Alaska, the place they had been assembly with their U.S. counterparts, to allow them to sign the assertiveness with which they had been discussing once more on the superpower.

We’re in tough instances, however they won’t final perpetually.

Akio Takahara is a professor of latest Chinese language politics on the Graduate Faculty of Regulation and Politics, College of Tokyo.

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