Report

What does China Want re: Senkakus, South China Sea, Part 1

posted by Richard Katz on July 09, 2014

Found in China, categorized in Politics

Tags: China Japan senkaku diaoyu south china sea xi Abe

Report Cover

Headline

Beijing felt that its attempt to isolate Shinzo Abe both within Japan and internationally had failed; so it is trying to decide what to do

Abstract

We had a chance to speak with Chinese experts in Beijing on national security issues; they ranged from professors at universities to experts at government-affiliated think-tanks

Aside from some obligatory parroting of the party line on delicate issues, they were surprising frank, and quite willing to speak as objective analysts trying to understand the leadership’s motivations and ambitions, rather than acting as spokesmen for it

On the Senkakus, they all spoke of the “new status quo,” so that any return to “shelving” would return to the “new status quo” rather than the status quo prior to Japan’s 2012 nationalization

The new status quo meant that Japan had nationalized the islands and China sends its vessels into the territorial waters; so any “shelving” would merely reduce, but not eliminate such actions

Beijing felt that its attempt to isolate Shinzo Abe both within Japan and internationally had failed; so it is trying to decide what to do

China, said our sources, initiated the first Cabinet-level meeting since the 2012 nationalization when China’s Commerce Minister and Japan’s METI Minister met on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue

Beijing is now considering whether it is worthwhile having a summit between Xi and Abe on the sidelines of the APEC summit in November; to do so, Abe would have to promise to refrain from visiting Yasukuni again and make some sort of acknowledgement of a dispute regarding the Senkakus

Experts unclear about Beijing’s motivations/ambitions in South China Sea, worried about crudeness of Xi’s tactics

About Richard Katz

Richard Katz

Richard Katz is Editor of The Oriental Economist Report, a monthly newsletter on Japan, as well as the semi-weekly TOE Alert e-mail service on Japan, and is also a special correspondent at Weekly Toyo Keizai, a leading Japanese business weekly.

Request a speaking engagement