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Tumultuous Sino-Japanese relations can find path to more stable future

(Global Times)

08:25, September 06, 2012

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of the diplomatic relations between China and Japan. The relationship is at a crossroad. And we need to think carefully about how we progress.

In 1972, normalization of the diplomatic relations between China and Japan served common interests. The foundation of the cooperation between the two had a solid base.

But four decades later, the problems left over by the Cold War, World War II, and even earlier events haven't been resolved.

Although economic cooperation between China and Japan has developed on an unprecedented scale, regional cooperation is still feeling its way into a new pattern.

Asia has shown its ability to develop economically. But GDP alone is not enough. This is a critical moment of Asian development. We need to think, innovate, lead and influence the world.

China and Japan, the two biggest countries in East Asia, are going through a period of strategic development. The advancement of Sino-Japanese relations is in the common interests of both sides.

We should grasp the rules of Sino-Japanese relations. The pattern of state-to-state relations and international competition and the working principles of the international system have changed a lot. We are living in a new international era. Our knowledge of international affairs has increased, but our way of thinking is still the same as it was during the Cold War era.

After 9/11 attack, George W. Bush, then US president, said, "You are either with us, or against us." This is a Manichean outlook. The reality is just the opposite. There are more and more intermediate zones between "black" and "white."

Sino-Japanese relations are developing on a dual track. Economic interdependence between the two is deepening, while mutual trust in political and security areas is very poor. Due to historical and practical reasons, this situation is likely to last for some time.

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