[Author] ZHU Feng, Member of the Academic Committee of iGCU, Professor at Division of History and Executive Director of the Collaboration Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Nanjing University.
In the strategic competition in the future, the key variable is not only the interaction between China and the US, the third party factors, namely countries or international organizations that affect the future of China and the US will have also crucial influence on the competition between China and the US. Japan is undoubtedly the biggest helper in the Asia-Pacific region for the United States to counterbalance China's geostrategic and geopolitical influence and support Washington's efforts to suppress China within the policy discourse system of the United States and the West.
Based on this, we should pay attention to the following issues when dealing with China-Japan relations. First of all, the current focus of China's relations with Japan is to stabilize and control Sino-Japanese relations, to avoid or minimize the exclusion of China from the United States and its allies in the geostrategic environment, economy, trade, scientific and technological development, and to prevent the expansion of decoupling theory in Sino-American strategic competition. Second, with the signing and ratification process of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) starting, further mutual opening of the market and business between China and Japan needs to be steadily advanced.
The new era of the strategic competition of Sino-US relations is the most prominent variables that constrain China’s long-term development with respect to its external factors. China also needs to make corresponding changes and adjustment, avoid the turbulence of nationalism, and against simple and stereotyped thinking towards Japan. These should become important approaches facing the Japanese challenge in the future.
Note: Jananese Studies, 2021.3.