China & Japan: The Other Story

China & Japan: The Other Story

The current dispute between China and Japan over a few barren islands inhabited by goats — called Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese — looks at first sight to be a mere territorial spat. But it has escalated to a very dangerous level in recent months — first words, then actions of police forces, now actions of air forces, and, behind all these, both sides have mobilised all their military, political, economic, diplomatic, and cultural energies to engage in the dispute. It is more fundamental than normal territorial disputes, because the very identities of the two countries are at stake.

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