China once again boasts world’s fastest supercomputer


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The Tianhe-2, a supercomputer developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology, was named the world’s top supercomputer for the fourth consecutive time by the TOP500 project. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Tianhe-2, a supercomputer developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology, was named the world’s top supercomputer for the fourth consecutive time by the TOP500 project.

The Tianhe-2 relegated the US-developed Titan to second spot with a performance of 33.86 petaflop (quadrillions of calculations per second) in a standardized test designed to measure computer performance.

IBM’s Sequoia rounded out the top 3 in the TOP500 list.

The TOP500 project, started in 1993, issues a list twice a year that ranks supercomputers based on their performance.

There was little change in the top 10 in the latest list and the only new entry was at number 10 – the Cray CS-Storm, developed by Cray Inc, which also developed the Titan.

The United States was home to six of the top 10 supercomputers, while China, Japan, Switzerland and Germany had one entrant each.

The United States remained the top country in terms of overall systems with 231, down from 233 in June and falling near its historical low.

The number of Chinese systems on the list also dropped to 61 from 76 in June, while Japan increased its number of systems from 30 to 32.

– China Daily/ Asia News Nework

 Related:

Asian Games Incheon 2014 South Korea; I dream of South Korea


 

Asian Games 2014-IncheonINCHEON — The 2014 Asian Games officially opened in this western port

city of South Koera on Friday evening, attracting more than 14,000
athletes and officials from 45 countries and regions across the
continent.

South Korean president Park Geun-hye declared the games open in front of a watching IOC chief Thomas Bach.

The 17th Asian Games, which will run through Oct. 4, offer 439 gold medals in 36 sports.

The Incheon Asiad is the third continental event hosted by South Korea, following the Seoul Asiad in 1986 and the Busan Games in 2002.

17th Asian Games open in Incheon, South Korea
Hightlights from Incheon Asian Games opening ceremony

17th Asian Games open in Incheon, South KoreaChina aims to dominate the Asian Games medal table for the ninth consecutive time as it sends more than 1,300 athletes and officials for the continent’s premier sporting event.

Hightlights from Incheon Asian Games opening ceremony >>

For the Incheon Games, the 897-athlete China Team, its largest ever contingent for any Games overseas, will participate in all 36 sports but kabbadi, featuring 33 Olympic champions.

Liu Peng, chef de mission of the Chinese delegation for the Incheon Asian Games, said that “we’ve been the leaders on both medals and gold medal tables of Asian Games, and we want to keep on winning.”

“The Asian Games are not only a competition but a platform for countries and regions from all over the continent to comunicate, cooperate, exchange opinions and better understanding each other,” said Liu.

“Therefore, we expect more than just titles and medals and No. 1 position in the tally from our athletes, but hope they will show fighting spirit and sportsmanship at the games,” added Liu.

Xiao Tian, the deputy chef de mission of the Chinese team, said,

“We consider the Asian Games an important part of our preparation for the 2016 Rio de Janerio Olympic Games.”

Since the 1982 games in New Delhi, China has topped every Asiad medal table, with its largest harvest of 199 golds from the Guangzhou Asiad four years ago.

For South Korea, the 1,068-member squad for the Incheon Games is its largest-ever Asiad delegation, including 831 athletes who will compete in all 36 sports.

With home turf advantage, the hosts hope to win more than 90 gold medals in Incheon to strengthen their second overall position which they occupied since the 1998 Bangkok Asiad in their seesaw battle against Japan.

Meanwhile, three countries are hoping for their first-ever podium finish at the continent’s quadrennial sports event, namely Bhutan and the Maldives, both at their seventh outing, as well as East Timor, which is in its fourth Asian Games.

The Asian Games was first held in 1951, and China and Japan are the only two nations to have finished first in the medal standings.

In terms of overall gold medals, China leads Japan by 1,191 to 910, while South Korea ranks third at 617. – Xinhua


I dream of South Korea

South Korea is at the Crossroads. She will become a helpless victim if she loses her sense of direction

Last night, I had a troubled sleep, tossing and turning, having one nightmare after another. In my dream I found myself in 2020 on the unified Korean Peninsula. I was overjoyed because the long-cherished dream of unification had come true at last. Soon, however, I found that some radical changes had taken place during the unification process. Among them, South Korea had turned into a communist country due to the large number of pro-North people in the South who naively and paradoxically supported Marxism and socialism, even though they relished the sweet fruits of the capitalist economy.

In the unified Korea, everyone had finally become equal, as many South Koreans had long wanted, not only in class but also in wealth. No one was allowed to be smarter than anyone else, and accordingly, all the universities in Korea bore the name of the prime university, Seoul National University. No one was permitted to be richer than anyone else either. Consequently, everybody was equally mediocre and destitute in Korea. Even better, Korea had become a workers’ paradise, where your job came with a lifetime warranty regardless of your performance and competence.

Nevertheless, I found the communist system had some serious flaws and downsides. As the nation had adopted the food rationing system, the government had turned into Big Brother and controlled people’s lives. Naturally, everybody was under constant surveillance and no one was allowed freedom of speech or of the press. Another problem with the communist regime was that it had a hierarchy instead of classes, and thus there were still quite a few privileged people – the party members and political leaders.

Deeply disturbed, I fell asleep and woke up in 2020 again, but this time in a different timeline. I found the Korean Peninsula was at war. Washington had made the same mistake that it had made just before the Korean War; it had pulled back the US troops from South Korea. In an effort to exercise a restraining influence on China’s expansion policy in Asia, the US had formed alliances with Japan, Australia and India, but not South Korea. Disappointed in South Korea’s policy of leaning heavily on China, the US government had retaliated by withdrawing her troops from South Korea.

As soon as the US troops had left, North Korea launched an attack on South Korea with numerous hidden artillery and biochemical weapons that eventually devastated the whole country. Many South Korean soldiers, who belonged to the Soft Generation and whose morale was low due to pervasive violence in military barracks, were not capable of fighting back.

While trying very hard to wake up from these bad dreams, I tumbled into another nightmare. I woke up in another timeline, in 2020 again.

This time, I found everyone was learning and speaking Chinese, as China impudently claimed that the Korean Peninsula had been part of China in ancient times and still was. Not realising what would happen to us, we Koreans had naively chosen China over Japan and the States as an ally.

Frustrated by the series of nightmares, I fell asleep again, intensely wishing to have a sweet, beautiful dream this time. When I woke up in 2020 again, I finally found South Korea had become a peaceful, advanced country without factional skirmishes or ideological brawls. An affluent society, South Korea served as a role model due to its miraculous economic success and democratisation.

Skilfully maximising her geopolitical situation, South Korea had emerged as a powerful, influential nation that earned respect and admiration from her neighbours.

The 1988 movie Sliding Doors shows two different futures the protagonist could experience depending on whether or not she catches a subway train. Our future, too, will be entirely different depending on whether or not we choose the right path at the right moment. Indeed, South Korea is at the crossroads now and thus should decide which way to go. If she loses her sense of direction, she will be inevitably caught in the crossfire and victimised helplessly.

Last night, I was wide awake in the middle of the night, sweating from bad dreams and worrying about the future of Korea. In my nightmares, Korea had headed in the wrong direction and suffered the consequences.

Waking up in 2014, I am so relieved that we still have a chance to prevent a disastrous future by choosing the right path.

By Kim Seong-Kon The Korea Herald

Kim Seong-kon is a professor emeritus of English at Seoul National University and president of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.

Related post

S. Korea – China ties at best in History

 

Asian Games 2014 Final Medal Table
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 151 108 83 342
2 Korea 79 71 84 234
3 Japan 47 76 77 200
4 Kazakhstan 28 23 33 84
5 Iran 21 18 18 57
6 Thailand 12 7 28 47
7 DPR Korea 11 11 14 36
8 India 11 9 37 57
9 Chinese Taipei 10 18 23 51
10 Qatar 10 0 4 14
11 Uzbekistan 9 14 21 44
12 Bahrain 9 6 4 19
13 Hong Kong 6 12 24 42
14 Malaysia 5 14 14 33
15 Singapore 5 6 13 24
16 Mongolia 5 4 12 21
17 Indonesia 4 5 11 20
18 Kuwait 3 5 4 12
19 Saudi Arabia 3 3 1 7
20 Myanmar 2 1 1 4
21 Vietnam 1 10 25 36
22 Philippines 1 3 11 15
23 Pakistan 1 1 3 5
23 Tajikistan 1 1 3 5
25 Iraq 1 0 3 4
25 United Arab Emirates 1 0 3 4
27 Sri Lanka 1 0 1 2
28 Cambodia 1 0 0 1
29 Macau 0 3 4 7
30 Kyrgyzstan 0 2 4 6
31 Jordan 0 2 2 4
32 Turkmenistan 0 1 5 6
33 Bangladesh 0 1 2 3
33 Laos 0 1 2 3
35 Afghanistan 0 1 1 2
35 Lebanon 0 1 1 2
37 Nepal 0 0 1 1
Source: NDTV Sports

Sino-Japanese thaw checklists


China and Japan are both keen to alleviate tensions, but some actions need to be taken for this to happen.

AT the recent Asean Foreign Ministers meeting in Myanmar, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met on the sidelines with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. Even though it was brief, it marked the first time since bilateral tensions began that top officials of both countries have met each other.

Does this signal the beginning of a reconciliation between the two Asian giants? Not likely.

There are four major reasons, which are deep seated and multifaceted, militating against a genuine reconciliation. The first is the territorial dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands where conflicting claims based on history are unlikely to be resolved as neither side seems willing to budge.

Japan claims that the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands were terra nullis (unoccupied) when seized by them along with Taiwan in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894, while the Chinese on their part insisted that there was evidence of Chinese settlement before the war.

The stakes have been heightened with talk of the presence of oil and gas reserves around the islands.

The second is also about history, not so much as a basis for territorial claim but of contrasting interpretations by both sides of the Japanese war record in Asia.

Many Japanese believe that their colonising attempts in East Asia were in the spirit of the times, no more illegitimate than western colonisation of Asia.

Why should so much be made of their colonisation and not that of the West? Also, some Japanese have even gone into denial mode, denying the existence of Japanese atrocities or if undeniable, downplaying the magnitude.

One such case is over the Nanjing Massacre. Some have denied its existence while others dispute the figures as given by the Chinese of 300,000 dead, arguing that the number is much smaller.

The Chinese give short shrift to the “no different from the West” argument as the Chinese were the colonised or semi-colonised victims.

Moreover, many Chinese also contend that even if the figures for the massacre were smaller (widely accepted figures range from 40,000 to 200,000), it is still a massacre.

A complicating aspect is that many Japanese, including their government, have conceded some wrongdoing and have apologised but the Chinese refuse to accept.

The Chinese refusal, these Japanese believe, suggests the Chinese want to use this to hold Japan to some kind of ransom whereas the Chinese do not believe the Japanese apologies are sincere.

And the third, a complex one, is the identification of enmity with the other with a powerful nationalist stream in either China or Japan. In the Chinese case, modern Chinese nationalism has roots in the anti-Japanese war.

It is contended by some that the Chinese communists find it useful to bolster their nationalist credentials by taking an anti-Japanese stance. And by the same token, the Japanese conservatives may find it useful to utilise anti-China sentiments among the Japanese to promote their agenda.

Anti-Japanese or anti-Chinese sentiments have their political uses.

And fourth, Japan is increasingly spooked by the rise of China, not because of the much played-up heavy increase in military expenditure. It is hard to see how China can be a greater threat to Japan, which has United States protection, in a few years time with increased military spending than now.

Rather, Japan fears being relegated to an inferior partner in bilateral relations they had dominated for more than a hundred years, and even more by being rendered irrelevant in Asia by this China rise.

Japan increasingly cannot abide sits irrelevance (witness Prime Minister Shinzo Abe going abroad and insisting in English, “Japan matters!”).

Many Japanese, not least Abe, believe Japan can only matter if China is checked.

Yet it is not in the interest of both for the tensions to continue as it would affect economic relations. Take for example bilateral trade.

It has deteriorated. In 2011, bilateral total trade amounted to about US$345bil (RM1.09 trillion). It went down to about US$333bil (RM1.06 trillion) in 2012 and further to US$312bil (RM992bil) in 2013.

There may be other factors contributing to the drop but bilateral tensions cannot be discounted as a reason. And more important, there is always the danger that conflicts could break out arising from accidental ship or airplane collisions, which might even lead to war with all its horrendous consequences.

I believe both sides are keen to alleviate tensions or achieve a thaw, even if genuine reconciliation is a long way off. Some action however needs to be taken in two areas for this to happen.

One, the Abe government should refrain from practising some of the more offensive aspects of his nationalism, the chief of which is not to visit the Yasukuni Shrine.

There has been an example in the past where a Prime Minister, Yasuhiro Nakasone, stopped his Yasukuni visit because of what he said were diplomatic reasons. Abe could use a similar reason.

The Chinese could reciprocate by toning down their campaign of condemning Japanese war iniquities and their lack of contrition. This could improve the atmosphere

Second, as suggested by Kevin Rudd and Joseph Nye in a Washington Post piece, steps should be taken to return the Senkakus/Diaoyu islands dispute to the agreement by Chou Enlai and Kakuei Tanaka in 1972 to leave the dispute to be solved by subsequent generations. (Some Japanese deny there was such an agreement.)

Rudd and Nye continued that the disputed islands and the surrounding areas be turned into a maritime ecological preserve where there will be no human habitation or usage for military purposes.

Where possible, joint exploration between both countries should be encouraged.

It is not necessary to state that such a thaw can only come about from politically courageous acts by both leaders. If such is forthcoming, than there is hope for a genuine rapprochement in the future.

 Commented by Dr Lee Poh Ping The Star/Asia News Network

> Dr Lee Poh Ping is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of China Studies in the University of Malaya. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

 

Related posts:

Dr Lee Poh Ping is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of China
Studies in the University of Malaya. The views expressed here are
entirely the writer’s own.

http://english.cntv.cn/program/dialogue/20130726/100500.shtml

An utterly unrepentant Japan opening up past wounds derail peace diplomacy

An utterly unrepentant Japan opening up past wounds derail peace
diplomacy. Whatever declarations Japanese leaders may make about the
aims of their visits to the Yasukuni Shrine being only to honour their
war dead, the …

The ghosts of Japan’s imperial past have returned to haunt the nation, its
government, and the other countries in this region. IF anyone still ….
6.An utterly unrepentant Japan opening up past wounds derail peace
diplomacy 7.
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9/3, China’s Victory Day over Japan


 China Victory Day Sept3
China’s top leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli present flower baskets to martyrs who sacrificed their lives in the Anti-Japanese War during a ceremony marking the 69th anniversary of Victory Day in the war at the Museum of the War of the Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 3, 2014. (Xinhua/Wang Ye) 
 Chinese leaders mark anti-Japanese war victory day – CCTV News – English

Studio interview: China-Japan ties frayed by Tokyo’s attitude on war crimes

 For more analysis, let’s bring in our studio guest Victor Gao, Current Affairs Commentator. Video: http://t.cn/RhUOWHx

Tokyo lost the war, and must accept defeat

Wednesday marks the 69th anniversary of China’s victory in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45). It is a day of solemnity that will remind us of myriad feelings. A multitude of people will commemorate the war at many events along with numerous reflections and summarizations that are becoming clearer as time passes.

The war of resistance is unforgettable for China and the Chinese people, not only because it was a brutal war which claimed tens of millions of lives, but also due to the cruel fact that the invader is a much smaller country across the sea. It is memorable also because Japan, the aggressor, has continued to make provocative actions toward China and South Korea despite its Waterloo in WWII.

China had weathered various hardships and witnessed declining national strength in its modern history, but the aggression of Japanese militarists became the peak in the tragedy of modern times in China. In concerted efforts, China and international anti-fascist forces defeated Japan. However, Japanese people have refused to view China as a true victor. They respect the US and the former Soviet Union but always give the cold shoulder to China and South Korea by ignoring all their requirements surrounding WWII. To continue our victory in the ruthless world war to the end, we need to completely overturn the understanding of Japanese society toward China since the Meiji Restoration in 1868. We should try to gain overwhelming advantages over Japan in major areas. Tokyo only shows respect to countries that have once heavily struck it or possess much greater strategic ability. This has been fully demonstrated by its docility under Washington’s military occupation till now and its willingness to be students in front of modern European civilization and the ancient Chinese civilization of the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

During the past 69 years since the war’s end, China has undergone vicissitudes and seen a historical reversal in its power balance with Japan. China has become the most powerful nation in Asia again. Nevertheless, Japan still boasts core advantages like advanced technology. Therefore, it has developed both a sense of crisis and a superiority complex toward China. The present day is witnessing a fierce geopolitical competition.

China and Japan will embark on the road of friendship eventually, which, however, will be peaceful and stable only when China overwhelms Japan in national strength. What we need is a rational Japan that behaves itself and stops serving as a pawn of the US to sabotage China’s strategic interests. We need to crush Japan’s will to constrain a rising Beijing and only in this way can Sino-Japanese friendship garner a fresh, solid foundation.

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-9-3 0:28:02

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India’s foolish crush on Japan


Can Modi’s reverence for all things Japanese produce the right blueprint for the nation’s future?

But those who Look East for Asian Values now seek out China rather than Japan!

India Modi Tea_AbeIndia’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, eat tea cakes during a tea ceremony at a tea hut of the Omotesenke, one of the main schools of Japanese tea ceremony, in Tokyo Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Modi was on his official visit to Japan. (AP Photo/Yuya Shino, Pool)

Narendra Modi, India’s new prime minister, visited Japan twice during his long decade of ostracism by the West. He is one of only three people that Shinzo Abe follows on Twitter. Commentators have hailed Modi as “India’s Abe” because he seems as determined as the Japanese prime minister to boost national self-esteem through economic growth..

Japanese direct investment in India is rising; it may even help realize Modi’s grand, Japan-inspired vision of “smart cities” and bullet trains across India. But Modi has deeper reasons for bringing to his first major bilateral visit the intense ardor of a pilgrim approaching an ancient shrine..

Since the 19th century, Hindu nationalists have venerated Japan as the paradigmatic Asian society that preserves its traditional virtues while also developing industrial and military strength and inculcating patriotism among its citizens. Swami Vivekananda, an iconic Hindu thinker of the 19th century (also the only writer Modi seems to have extensively read) claimed after a visit that “if all our rich and educated men once go and see Japan, their eyes will be opened.”.

Evidently, the Japanese had “taken everything from the Europeans, but they remain Japanese all the same” while in India, “the terrible mania of becoming Westernised has seized upon us like a plague.”.

Modi ably channels Vivekananda in his praise for the Japanese traits of self-sacrificing nationalism. And he has not evolved a “Look East” policy just because U.K. and U.S. officials refused to meet with him and the U.S. denied him a visa after communal riots on his watch as chief minister of the state of Gujarat claimed more than 1,000 lives. Note that U.K. officials did not deny Modi a visa after the 2002 Gujarat riots. Modi seems sincere in his invocation of what Asia’s three outspoken leaders of the 1980s — Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad and Japan’s Shintaro Ishihara — called “Asian Values.”.

Lee typically argued that the only antidote to “the disruptive individualism of Western liberalism” was renewed stress on “individual subordination to the community.” This coincides perfectly with the values cherished by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (Modi’s ideological guide, and the parent outfit of Hindu nationalism). Not surprisingly, Modi’s recent Independence Day speech, which was widely hailed as “forward-looking and modern” was also, as the columnist Shekhar Gupta pointed out, “pure RSS” in its emphasis on “family values, morality, cleanliness, discipline and patriotism.”.

But can Modi’s old-fashioned reverence for all things Japanese, from the tea ceremony to nuclear plants, produce the right blueprint for India’s future? After all, Japan today offers less instruction in world-conquering industrial growth and innovation than in the admirable art of “bending adversity” — the title of a superb new book on Japan by David Pilling that Modi might find more up-to-date than Vivekananda’s musings..

The Japanese state’s striking early example of fostering internationally competitive local industries was closely followed by countries such as South Korea and Taiwan. Leaders of Malaysia and Indonesia eagerly sought Japanese investment in their economies, primarily to diversify their industrial bases..

The most avid of these Asian Japanophiles was Mahathir, the long-lasting prime minister of Malaysia and unabashed exponent of majoritarian nationalism. His own “Look East” policy was grounded in economic relations with Japan as well as racial and civilizational assertions of difference, and included an explicit anti-Western posture..

For a while, everything seemed to be going well. Then, in the 1990s the limits of Japanese developmentalism were exposed by the new age of globalization. So much of the Japanese economic miracle had been contingent on U.S. willingness during the Cold War to open its own markets to Japanese manufacturers while turning a blind eye to Japan’s blatantly protectionist trade policies and restrictions on capital movement..

Japan’s comparative advantage couldn’t last, and it didn’t. The Asian financial crisis then went on to expose, among other things, the dangerous overreliance on foreign investment of countries like Malaysia. We haven’t heard much about Asian Values since then; those who Look East now seek out China rather than Japan..

Canceling talks with Pakistan, or rejecting the World Trade Organization deal reached at Bali, Modi could be projecting the India that can say no: He is more India’s Mahathir than India’s Abe. But it is hard not to suspect anachronism and naivete in Modi’s plan to model India’s economy on Japan’s postwar achievements of technical innovation and labor-intensive manufacturing..

The export-oriented economies of Japan and its Asian clients achieved their highest growth when most Chinese were still wearing drab Mao suits. The spirit of innovation long ago shifted from Sony to Apple; and Abenomics, the engine of a fresh national ascent to glory and power, is now running on empty..

Even Mahathir now thinks Japan made too many irrevocable mistakes, and has switched his affections to the Korea of Samsung and Hyundai. Arriving in Japan, Modi will no doubt find some good deals for India. But he will also find the beloved old shrine of Hindu nationalists deserted, the faithful long gone in search of other gods. .

By Pankaj Mishra Bloomberg

Related
 

Modi-Abe intimacy brings scant comfort

The increasing intimacy between Tokyo and New Delhi will bring at most psychological comfort to the two countries.
Source: Global Times | 2014-9-2 0:53:01

Modi draws support from Japan

Japan and India agreed to step up economic and security cooperation as Indian PM seeks to revitalize the lagging domestic economy.

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Evaluate enemies and friends


Friends_Enemies

Illustration: Liu Rui/GTChina must evaluate friends and enemies

Since 2013, China has been engaging in “major power” diplomacy. In the past, the term “major powers” referred to countries such as the US, Japan, Russia, the UK and Brazil, while now the major power is China itself.

The shift in China’s diplomatic status means the country’s diplomatic approaches face a new challenge: Does diplomacy have to distinguish between enemies and friends?

Before China’s non-alignment policy was raised in the report to the 12th CPC National Congress in 1982, China’s diplomacy distinguished between enemies and friends.

In the 1950s, based on the different social systems, China categorized other countries into imperialist states, capitalist states, nationalist states and socialist ones.

In the following two decades, these countries were divided into the superpowers, developed countries and developing ones, given the international status of different countries.

These two categorizations differ in standards, but reflected the then diplomatic notion of distinguishing between enemies and friends.

The report to the 12th CPC National Congress also said that “the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence are applicable to our relations with all countries, including socialist countries.”

From then, China began to discard the “enemies-or-friends” concept and focus on economic cooperation with all the countries based on an equal footing.

There have been some variations in China’s diplomacy, particularly in relation to how it categorized other countries after the Tiananmen incident in 1989.

One means adopted in 1997 classified the countries into neighboring, developing and developed ones. In 2002, the sequence was changed into developed, neighboring and developing countries.

Such categorization adds flexibility to diplomatic principles and, as some believed, fits the globalization era and discards the Cold War mentality that stuck to the old way of distinguishing between enemies and friends.

However, such categorization and sequence also have their flaws. When a principle is too flexible, its guiding role is weakened.

For instance, both Cambodia and the Philippines are China’s neighboring countries and belong to developing countries, but the latter can sometimes pose diplomatic trouble for China.

Similarly, Russia and Japan belong to the same category, but we can enhance strategic cooperation with Russia while isolating Japan politically.

In the following decade, the overall national strength of China will remain greater than that of all the other countries except the US. China has to shoulder more international responsibilities and maintain international order by providing public benefit, so as to maintain its own interests.

But if China doesn’t distinguish between enemies and friends, it will find it difficult to do so.

Only when China is clear about which country it can hold responsible on certain occasions, or which country can enjoy more public benefits, can it make the right decision.

Any big country, when helping shape international order, will protect its friends rather than enemy countries. It will raise proposals beneficial for its partners rather than competitors, and provide public benefit for those playing by the rules rather than breaking the rules.

If we don’t distinguish between enemies and friends, it will also be difficult for us to adopt the diplomatic principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.

For example, politically we can get close to Russia and Cambodia but not Japan’s Abe government or the Philippines’ Aquino III government, because otherwise the latter two may dare to adopt even more hostile policies toward China.

Diplomatically, we can stick to the principle of credibility only with countries that we have established diplomatic ties with, but not with those who don’t admit China’s sovereignty or support the so-called “Taiwan independence.” Economically, China can take the initiative to help developing countries rather than the US which has already entered the developed phase.

To build up an international environment that best works for China’s rejuvenation, China’s categorization of foreign countries can be based on interests.

We can classify all the countries into friendly, cooperative, ordinary or conflicting ones.

To friendly countries, China should lend a helping hand; to cooperative ones, it can offer some preferential policies. We should work on an equal footing with ordinary countries, while taking countermeasures to conflicting ones.

The US is the only country that is more powerful than China. We may consider listing China’s relationship with it in a single category as “a new type of major power relationship.”

It is a relationship between a rising country and a dominant one, and as the US is more powerful than China, the two should stay equal and be mutually beneficial, which is more favorable to the US. Therefore, this also reflects tolerance of China’s foreign policies.

Since the Opium Wars in the 19th century, China has accumulated rich diplomatic experience to counter countries stronger than itself. But in modern times, it lacks the experience of dealing with countries weaker than itself. It tests China’s diplomatic wisdom as whether or not to distinguish between enemies and friends.

By Yan Xuetong Viewpoint, Source: Global Times Published: 2014-8-27 18:58:02
The author is director of the Institute of Modern International Relations, Tsinghua University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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Japan reopens China’s wounds: Sea of Change in pacific policy; Japan’s wars and Potsdam Declaration still relevant


China-JapanJapan reopens China’s wounds

Few wounds take so long to heal. But the defeat in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, which broke out 120 years ago today, remains an open wound in Chinese national psyche.

Not because it hurt us too badly. The subsequent unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki, fittingly portrayed as “humiliating the country and forfeiting its sovereignty”, has since been a hallmark of national shame. But the Japanese imposed on us greater shame and sufferings in the decades that followed.

Nor because we are a nation of grudge-holders. We have befriended posterity of Western intruders responsible for our nation’s humiliating past, and are forming partnerships with them. Even to Japan, our worst enemy in history, our leaders always reiterate the wish to let friendship “last from generation to generation”.

But because the same old ghost of expansionist Japan is lurking next door, causing a contagious sense of insecurity throughout the region.

We cannot afford to not be vigilant, because Shinzo Abe’s Japan is strikingly similar to the Japan of 120 years ago. International concerns about the likelihood of history repeating itself in Northeast Asia are not groundless. Because, like in 1894, Japan is again aspiring for “greatness” through expanding its overseas military presence. And its foremost target is, again, China.

It is dangerous to underestimate Japan as a security threat. Which it was, and still is.

The Japanese prime minister’s rhetoric about peace may be engaging. But never forget Japan’s extreme duality. Its wars of aggression have always been launched in the mode of surprise attacks while waving the banner of peace.

In 1871, Japan signed the Sino-Japanese Friendship and Trade Treaty with rulers of China’s Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), which promises mutual respect for and non-violation of each other’s territories. Hardly had the ink on that document dried when the Japanese began invading Ryukyu, then a Chinese tributary. The Ryukyu kingdom was finally annexed in 1879 and renamed Okinawa.

On Japan’s agenda of overseas expansion, the 1894 surprise attack against China was a carefully plotted advance to control Korea before slicing China. But the Japanese government eulogized its acts of aggression as those of benevolence aimed at “preserving the overall peace of East Asia” against “barbarians and semi-barbarians”.

The more devastating Japanese war of aggression, embarked in 1931, was also waged in the name of peace, under the pretext of building an “East Asia sphere of common prosperity”.

Even today, Japanese politicians call it a war of “liberation from white colonialism”, even “enlightenment”.

In amazing similarity, present-day Japan is flexing its military muscles overseas in the name of proactive peace. Also like in the run-up to the year of 1894, with peace on lips, Abe is waging a propaganda war against China, framing us as a threat.

This country has suffered enough from its one-sided wish for peace, and poor preparedness for worst scenarios.

Now is time for a break.

Sources: China Daily/Asia News Network

Sea of change in pacifist policy

Japan may have crossed a rubicon as it will only be a matter of time before it acts like a ‘normal’ country where troop deployment is concerned.

Abe_eye militaryON July 1, the Cabinet of Shinzo Abe decided that Japan would no longer abide by the policy of not engaging in collective self-defence.

This may appear innocuous but to those conversant with Japanese defence policy since World War II (WWII) this could amount to a sea of change.

The Americans, in an attempt to prevent a remilitarised Japan after WWII, imposed on it a constitution which contains Article 9, an article probably found in no other constitution. It states that Japan renounces war as a sovereign right of a nation and cannot resort to force, or the threat of the use of force, to settle international disputes.

The defence of Japan was guaranteed by the United States in a security agreement signed with Japan after the American occupation. Nevertheless, the United States also insisted that Japan take some steps to defend itself.

Thus, Article 9 was not interpreted literally by subsequent governments as excluding Japan from establishing a Self-Defence Force (SDF), but it could not be allowed to participate in collective self-defence. Japan could not send its military force to help any country, however friendly, except for humanitarian purposes.

This approach, perhaps unexpectedly, worked brilliantly for Japan.

Freed of the need to build a large military establishment, Japan devoted its energies to economic development and built what was until recently the second largest economy in the world.

But as the United States began to realise that Japan was the greatest beneficiary of this approach, it applied pressure on Japan to give up this “free ride”, and start deploying troops overseas, especially to aid American military expeditions. The Japanese resisted.

They argued that the SDF could be sent overseas for humanitarian purposes but not for combat as this would involve Japan in collective self-defence, even if only to aid Japan’s crucial ally, the United States. Article 9, as then interpreted, would be violated.

But the Japanese could not resist US pressure for long. Since then the Japanese have sent Japanese vessels to supply fuel for US ships to attack Afghanistan, and troops to Iraq in the war against Saddam Hussein.

But though these troops were placed in combat situations, their presence was justified, however contrived, for humanitarian reasons. They were not there for the purpose of collective self-defence!

This has now changed with the recent Cabinet decision. Despite assurances from the Abe Cabinet that Japan will only use troops after all means have been exhausted, henceforth it can send troops not only to help US forces if attacked but also to the defence of any other country that it might feel an obligation to. Japan may have crossed a rubicon as it will only be a matter of time before it acts like a “normal” country where troop deployment is concerned.

China and South Korea are against it. They fear that this could lead to the remilitarisation of Japan as they believe Japan has not sufficiently come to terms with its past of aggression against Asia.

Many South-East Asian nations, on the other hand, have been impressed by Japan’s peace diplomacy since WWII, and may be less inclined to believe the Japanese will remilitarise. Even though many South-East Asians, particularly those of Chinese descent, suffered from Japanese atrocities, they are more ambivalent about the Japanese war record.

The Japanese occupation in South-East Asia was a military one and lasted only about three-and-a-half years. Compare this to Korea, which was colonised by Japan from 1910 to 1945, when Korean cultural identity was subjected to an eradication campaign by the Japanese colonisers.

Or the Chinese, who since the Sino- Japanese war of 1895 had suffered almost half a century of Japanese threats, colonisation (Manchuria in 1931) and invasion (from 1937-1945.) Memories of Japanese atrocities such as the Nanjing Massacre are still vivid in their minds.

South-East Asians are concerned that the history issue, whatever the merits of the case, will continue to prevent reconciliation between Japan and Northeast Asia, in particular China.

Sino-Japanese relations will not stabilise unless that issue is resolved. This will not be good for South-East Asia, given the profound economic and geopolitical impact these two countries have on the region.

There is also some reason for unease in the manner in which Abe implemented the change. Over a matter of such importance, the Abe government should have gone through the procedure of amending or abolishing Article 9 of the constitution, instead of resorting to the tactic of changing governmental interpretation.

It is true that this will be difficult, given that a recent poll shows 56% of the Japanese population are against the Abe move. (A constitutional change needs a two-thirds majority in both houses and a majority in a national referendum.) Nevertheless, it is the task of Abe and his people to convince the Japanese people of the necessity of the constitutional change. If the Japanese people are unconvinced, then Abe should leave things be.

More concerning is that this normalisation is accompanied by a nationalist agenda of visits to the Yasukuni shrine by Japanese legislators and indeed by Abe himself, and by other actions that suggest Japan did no wrong in the war.

Japanese nationalists like Abe argue that they are only praying for the souls of the deceased when they visit the Yasukuni shrine, and they have no wish to resurrect the past.

But there are other aspects of the nationalist agenda the Abe people are pushing which may survive. One is the introduction of patriotic education, that can have a long-lasting effect on the Japanese population.

It can be argued that the Abe move to make Japan a normal country should be welcome. Japan is a large country with a population of around 120 million.

Moreover, it has the third largest economy, and is technologically one of the most advanced in the world. It has also convincingly demonstrated a record of more than 60 years of peaceful diplomacy.

At the same time, many Japanese, particularly the younger generation, no longer want to carry on with the mentality of a defeated nation so long after the war. Nevertheless, it is a pity that their government has to pursue the normalisation of Japan while at the same time pushing a nationalist agenda.

 

By Dr Lee Poh Ping The Star/Asia News Network

Dr Lee Poh PingDr Lee Poh Ping is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of China Studies in the University of Malaya. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.

http://english.cntv.cn/program/dialogue/20130726/100500.shtml

First Japan war’s lessons remain relevant

Today is the 120th anniversary of the eruption of the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95). The war is generally viewed as a turning point in modern Chinese history. The illusion of a strong navy of the then-Qing government and limited hopes brought by the Self-Strengthening Movement ended with the war’s coming. China not only lost to the West, but also was defeated by an East Asian country—Japan. China’s long-held sense of superiority came to an abrupt end.

The complete defeat in the war, and cession of territories and indemnities brought with it, caused Chinese society to realize that only reform could reverse China’s backwardness. Yet all reform measures failed to save the Qing regime.

The war also completely remade East Asian geopolitics, with Japan assuming a role as the leading country in the region. Only in recent years has this arrangement changed to some extent.

Drawing lessons from the war is not an easy job. Neither China nor Japan has set an example in this. China was convulsed by half a century of war and other disturbances following its defeat, before it gradually found its path forward. Japan became increasingly self-centered and paranoid due to its victory in the war and began to follow an expansionist path. It would only begin to restrain itself following its defeat by other world powers in the World War II.

China’s experiences during the past 120 years are fodder for significant reflection. China and Japan once again find themselves in a confrontational stance. How should we look at China’s geopolitical status, both then and now? What’s the most significant lesson for us? There has been much discussion throughout China on this subject, but no consensus has yet been reached.

Will China find itself in a new war, similar to the one 120 years ago? History will not repeat itself, but China still face a number of uncertainties. What are these uncertainties? From where can the Chinese people derive our strategic confidence?

It is naïve to compare the historical context of the First Sino-Japanese War or World War I with China’s current circumstances. Both international politics and China’s internal social structure have experienced profound changes.

China is rising, even as there are many factors countervailing this process, both internal and external. The momentum of China’s development has empowered the country, while at the same time exposing problems. Opinions remain divided as to whether Chinese society as a whole can bear the pressure.

There are those who would compare the Sino-Japanese relationship of 120 years ago with today. It is a confusing comparison. China 120 years ago lacked national strength, social unity, and effective government. It proved unable to reform itself in the face of serious setbacks.

China’s task of reform was thrown into sharp relief following the First Sino-Japanese War. Even now, the country must continue to push reforms, and curb its social ills.

We should continue to crack down on corruption, and protect the democracy advocated by generations of revolutionaries. All this, however, should not come at the cost of social chaos.

Source: Global Times Published: 2014-7-25 0:28:01

 

DeclarationDeclaration still relevant

Looking at the Potsdam Declaration 69 years after its release on July 26 in 1945 is of great help in knowing why the Japanese government’s attitude toward the war of aggression it launched against China and other Asian countries during World War II matters a great deal to its relations with its neighbors and the situation in East Asia.

Along with Cairo Declaration in 1943, this historical document was the cornerstone of the postwar world order. It was these two documents that established the principles for Japan, one of the culprits for World War II, to redeem itself from the evils of its militarism. And it was by following what both documents stipulated that Japan could realize reconciliation with its neighbors, which had forgiven what its invading troops had done to their peoples with the hope that the island country would behave itself and contribute to the building of a peaceful Asia and peaceful world at large.

However, the declaration was challenged when the Japanese government made the decision to nationalize the Diaoyu Islands in 2012, territory it had grabbed from China with its military aggression. Japan was supposed to return all the territories it had taken from China according to Cairo Declaration, and the Potsdam Declaration requires that the Cairo Declaration must be observed.

By blatantly questioning the international definition of the nature of the war, the legitimacy of the Far East Military Tribunal and even the existence of the “comfort women” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is actually trying to overturn what the two declarations had stipulated for Japan’s surrender and the establishment of the postwar order.

Abe government’s lifting of the ban on its collective self-defense by reinterpreting Article 9 of its postwar pacifist Constitution early this month trod on the toes of its neighbors, as there is no threat to Japan’s national security that calls for the possible use of its collective self-defense and for any overseas military action.

All Japan’s Asian neighbors can get from what Abe is saying and doing is nothing but increased suspicion about the possibility of the revival of Japan’s militarism.

When celebrating the 69th anniversary of the Potsdam Declaration, it is indeed necessary and urgent for China and its Asian neighbors to remind the Abe government that it is leading its country in the wrong direction if it indeed wants its country to become a normal member of the international community.

Sources: China Daily/Asia News Network

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