The trends, developments and dynamics in Japanese– Chinese relations
The decline in recent Japanese-Chinese relations is hardly surprising, considering their tainted and hostile bilateral interactions throughout Asia’s modern history. Japan’s imperialistic transgressions on Chinese soil during two Japanese-Chinese wars that lasted until the end of the Second World War have set in motion and shaped the problematic nature of their bilateral exchanges thereafter. Although formal diplomatic ties resumed in 1972, and a progressive relationship ensued under the so-called ‘peace-and-friendship’ framework, it has remained fragile to date, and has yet to mature into one based on mutual trust and genuine amity. Instead, historical excesses continue to haunt the government and people of both countries, occasionally stifling and threatening to haul their contemporary relationship back to its confrontational past. Interpreting from a neoclassical realist perspective, what follows is an overview of the trends and developments, and the external and domestic dynamics (identified in the NCR framework), that shaped their bilateral ties throughout the Cold War and post-Cold War eras.