ISBN : 9780195375664
Japan and China have been rivals for more than a millennium. In more recent times, China was the more powerful until the late nineteenth century, while Japan took the upper hand in the twentieth. Now, China's resurgence has emboldened it even as Japan perceives itself falling behind, exacerbating long-standing historical frictions.
June Teufel Dreyer's Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising Sun provides a highly accessible overview of one of the world's great civilizational rivalries. Dreyer, a senior scholar of East Asia, begins in the seventh century in order to provide a historical background for the main story: by the mid-nineteenth century, the shrinking distances afforded by advances in technology and the intrusion of Western powers brought the two into closer proximity in ways that alternately united and divided them. In the aftermath of multiple wars between them, including a long and brutal conflict in World War II, Japan developed into an economic power but rejected any concomitant military capabilities. China's journey toward modernization was hindered by ideological and leadership struggles that lasted until the death of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong in 1976.
Bringing the narrative up to the present day, Dreyer focuses on the issues that dominate China and Japan's fraught current relationship: economic rivalry, memories of World War II, resurgent nationalism, military tensions, Taiwan, the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, and globalization. Dreyer argues that recent disputes should be seen as manifestations of embedded rivalries rather than as issues whose resolution would provide a lasting solution to deep-standing disputes. For anyone interested in the political dynamics of East Asia, this integrative history of the relationship between the region's two giants is essential reading.
"June Teufel Dreyer after tracing the historical background presents a comprehensive picture of Sino-Japanese relations after World War II. By presenting a detailed picture of the quarrels between the two countries over recent decades, she makes clear the amount of work required for the two countries to work together for a peaceful constructive relationship." -- Ezra Vogel, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus, Harvard University
"In her excellent account of centuries of diplomatic turmoil, Ms. Dreyer seamlessly shifts between the granular and the macro. Her use of contemporaneous newspaper editorials and other primary sources clearly and colorfully render the ideological factions within both countries that had differing opinions about trade, military spending and the role of the U.S. in the region." -The Wall Street Journal
"An important book which vividly and uniquely places the prospect of China and Japan avoiding a military clash in the context of a contentious history in which Chinese rulers have long expected, and continue to expect Japan to welcome subordination to China. Dreyer's revealing and even-handed political history makes a compelling case for deep and dangerous historical continuities in cultural identities and worrisome realistic anxieties among ruling groups."-Edward Friedman, Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, University of Wisconsin
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Getting to the Present
Chapter Two: China, Japan, and the Coming of the West, 1835-1945
Chapter Three: Wary Engagement: 1945-1969
Chapter Four: The Tortuous Path to Normalization: 1969-1972
Chapter Five: The Golden Age of Sino-Japanese Relations, 1972-1989
Chapter Six: Tarnished Gold, 1989-2006
Chapter Seven: Contradictions Deepen: 2006-2015
Chapter Eight: Economic Rivalry
Chapter Nine: Mutual Military Apprehensions
Chapter Ten: Taiwan Between Two Powers
Chapter Eleven: Conclusions