Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the P.R.C Key Cooperative Research Institute for Policy Studies (2022-2024)

Wang Guangtao, "Kishida’s absurd accusation against China shifts focus from multilateral cooperation, hinders improvement in China ties"


(Source:  Global Times, 2022-11-14)

As Japan refuses to give up the illusion of containing China in the  Asia-Pacific region, its desire for better bilateral relations with the  latter will only be a fool's errand.

Speaking at the East Asia  Summit (EAS) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio  Kishida stated on Sunday that there has been continued, increasing  actions by China in the East China Sea that violate Japan's  sovereignty. He also accused China of continuing to take actions that  heighten regional tension in the South China Sea.

The EAS is a  multilateral mechanism set up based on cooperation. It is not a place to  target a particular country. Such an extremely inappropriate move will  not win sympathy for Japan in the region or boost its diplomacy, Wang  Guangtao, an associate research fellow at Fudan University, told the  Global Times.

Kishida has taken the question between the two  countries to a multilateral occasion. He tried to magnify it into a  regional issue, attempting to draw other regional countries into Tokyo's  criticism and confrontation against China.

This approach will  obscure the focus of multilateral meetings, which is to promote  cooperation between countries. As a result, friction and disagreements  have overshadowed the good atmosphere of cooperation.

More importantly, Kishida's accusation is absurd since China has never violated Japan's sovereignty in the East China Sea.

Japan  has often protested against Chinese Coast Guard vessels patrolling the  waters around China's Diaoyu Islands. At the same time, Kishida has also  expressed disappointment at China's efforts to develop areas in the  East China Sea, describing it as unacceptable.

But these  matters fall completely under China's sovereign rights and jurisdiction.  As Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin once said, Japan  should not make unwarranted remarks.
If Tokyo continues with its  anti-China strategy, especially if it voluntarily acts as Washington's  pawn, it will only hurt itself.

Chinese military expert and TV  commentator Song Zhongping believes that China and Japan used to share  strained political and relatively cordial economic relations. But with  the Japanese government becoming increasingly conservative and blindly  following the US Indo-Pacific Strategy, China-Japan relations will  suffer a severe setback. The economic ties between the two may also  deteriorate, and even confrontation could occur, Song noted. And such  results will be disastrous for Tokyo. On the one hand, due to the lack  of strategic buffer zones with China, Japan may have to face severe  damage in almost all spheres, be they the economy or the military. On  the other hand, Washington, Tokyo's ally, will always put its own  interests first, which means Japan will easily be abandoned by the US if  there is a confrontation between China and Japan. Because of the close  ties with China, particularly in economic, people-to-people, and  cultural exchanges, it is evident that Japan seeks to improve its  bilateral relations with China. However, to do so, it should first give  up treating China as an imaginary enemy or make it an object that needs  to be contained in the Asia-Pacific region.

Japan must deeply  realize that, as a regional country, it should prioritize peace and  stability in the Indo-Pacific region. It should seek to shelve disputes  and promote common development and peaceful coexistence on many issues,  rather than creating chaos in the region under the influence of the US,  said Song.