For socio-historical and geopolitical reasons, the deep alienation between China and Japan has long served to constrain the development of East Asia’s post-Cold War regional order. Drawing from a project investigating contemporary Japan-China strategic relations against the context of their long shared history, Goh asks whether, under what conditions, and how Japan and China might be able to construct peaceful and cooperative coexistence with each other. Re-visiting the longer history of bilateral relations since 1400 – the point in the modern era when there was a recognisably ‘Japanese’ polity alongside its Chinese imperial counterpart – it outlines four key episodes of what we might conceivably call strategic bargains between the two entities. These four episodes at the start of the 15th century, the beginning of the 17th century, during the 18th century, and the second half of the 19th century, demonstrate that China and Japan were able to negotiate strategic bargains in very different historical contexts. Goh concludes by probing for continuities and dis-junctures across this long historical record, asking what ‘lessons’ might be kept in mind, and identifying the most significant socio-normative transformations that have occurred in this vital strategic relationship.
The ANU China Seminar Series is supported by the Australian Centre on China in the World at The Australian National University’s College of Asia & the Pacific.have occurred in this vital strategic relationship.