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50th Anniversary of Normalized Sino-Japanese Relations

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50th Anniversary of Normalized Sino-Japanese Relations

normalized Sino-Japanese relations
normalized Sino-Japanese relations
Today marks the 50th anniversary of normalized Sino-Japanese relations. Photo: Kentaro Aoyama/Yomiuri Shimbun/AP

Today marks the 50th anniversary of normalized relations between China and Japan.

Despite the strong cultural and economic values of the China-Japan diplomatic relationship, recent developments threaten their amicability. Territory and sovereignty disputes, US interest in regional geopolitics and Beijing’s South China Sea (SCS) expansion have decoupled progression of Sino-Japan relations. The invasion of Ukraine and China’s recent behaviour in the Taiwan Strait have worsened an already fragile Sino-Japan allegiance.

Diplomatically, Japan’s involvement with US and Australian-based FTA’s and defence alliances – such as the QUAD and CPTPP – have soured Beijing-Tokyo relations. In response, Beijing has requested accession to the CPTPP and upheld construction of SCS man-made islands to increase their own Exclusive Economic Zone – both in attempt to control regional macroeconomics. Despite this, Sino-Japanese economic stability is steadily improving, with a $371B trade industry developing on the commencement of the 2021 Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

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John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, gave a briefing at the White House on Friday. Photo: Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Sino-Japan relations are likely to maintain political distance while economic trade continues to accelerate following successful implementation of the RCEP. Political concerns, including territorial disputes and Chinese militarisation regarding Taiwanese sovereignty, will hold Beijing-Tokyo relations at a standstill for the short-to-medium term regardless of the tenure of their cultural and economic relations.

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