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This article appears in the May 25, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.


China, Japan, and the New Silk Road—Overcoming Geopolitics

[Print version of this article]

Xinhua/Li Tao
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (left to right) meet the press after the 7th China-Japan-South Korea leaders’ meeting in Tokyo, Japan, May 9, 2018.

May 20—A world-changing event took place last week in Japan, but anyone in the Western world who depends on the establishment press would have no way of knowing it even happened. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Japan, first for a trilateral summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in (the first such trilateral summit in nearly three years), then for a series of bilateral events with Prime Minister Abe.

Historic agreements were reached between the two economic powers (Japan and China are the second and third largest economies in the world), to initiate joint investments in infrastructure projects in nations along the Belt and Road, to cooperate in joint research and development of new technologies, and to establish a cross-departmental committee to enter into an “era of coordination rather than competition,” as Prime Minister Abe put it. Those in the West who are desperate to maintain the British imperial division of the world into hostile blocs, East vs. West, are chewing the rug over this historic development, and making sure it goes generally unreported in the West.

Throughout the Cold War, Japan was treated by the Anglo-American “free world” as a bulwark against “Godless Communism” in Asia, both in regard to China and to Russia, while serving as a military base for the U.S. colonial wars in Indochina. Efforts by Japanese leaders, including the efforts of the grandfather and the father of the current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Nobusuke Kishi, Prime Minister from 1957-1960, and Shintaro Abe, Foreign Minister from 1982-1986) to establish better relations with Russia were quashed by Anglophile American leaders such as John Foster Dulles, in defense of the Cold War division of the world into enemy blocs.

Under Prime Minister Kakuei Fukuda in 1972 (as Nixon was making his famous trip to China), China and Japan established trade relations, and soon thereafter diplomatic relations. In 1978, the two nations signed a Treaty of Peace and Friendship, with China giving up demands for war reparations from Japan, and Japan recognizing One China with Beijing as its capital, and with Taiwan an integral part of China. The Taiwan issue was particularly crucial in this relationship because Japan had occupied Taiwan from 1895, following the First Sino-Japanese War, until Japan’s 1945 defeat in World War II.

Following these agreements, trade and investment between the two nations skyrocketed in the 1970s, but political tensions continued to fester, because of Japan’s conduct during its brutal invasion and occupation of much of China during World War II, and also because of conflicting territorial claims to islands in the East China Sea. Recurring crises involving these issues restricted political ties, and prevented a softening of the popular anger in both populations against each other. The fact that this historic distrust and animosity is finally being resolved is demonstrated by the massive increase in Chinese tourists traveling to Japan—in 2011, only 1.04 million Chinese visited Japan, but by 2017 it was 7.35 million.

Yasuo Fukuda in October 2004.

Abe was elected Prime Minister for the first time in 2006, and, although he was in office for only one year due to health problems, he and his successor Yasuo Fukuda (the Son of Kakuei Fukuda) took measures to improve relations with China, such that by 2008, China and Japan were the world’s largest trading partners, while Japan became the largest foreign investor in China, and still is today.

But it has been under Abe’s second term as Prime Minister, which began in 2012, that major changes have taken place in respect to political relations with China, and Russia, as well. In both cases, it has required that Japan stand up to British imperial interests demanding that Japan follow their dictates. Abe has not shied away from this challenge, as he has long recognized that Japan’s future depends on its participation in the emerging Chinese economic dynamo and in cooperation with Russia in the development of the vast frontier of Russia’s Far East.

Abe and Putin

Following the U.S./British coup in Ukraine in 2014, deposing the elected government through a violent “color revolution,” with neo-nazi organizations on the front lines, President Obama called Abe, demanding that he join in the condemnation of Russia for supporting those who resisted the coup, and to go along with the other G-7 nations in imposing sanctions on Russia. Abe deflected the pressure by imposing minor and meaningless sanctions, while continuing to build positive relations with Russia.

In May, 2016, Abe visited Russian President Putin in Sochi, despite a personal call from Obama instructing him not to go. Abe presented Putin with an eight-point plan for Japanese cooperation with Russia in infrastructure, health, energy, and more, both in the Russian Far East and across Russia. They also agreed to begin joint development of two of the four contested islands north of Hokkaido, including investments and visits from Japanese citizens, aiming at an eventual peace treaty to officially end World War II, through an equitable solution to the territorial issues.

Abe then attended the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok in September 2016, proposing 18 development projects in the Russia’s Far East. That was followed by Putin’s visit to Japan in December, where 60 joint development projects were signed, totaling $2.5 billion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Nagato, Japan, Dec. 15-16, 2016.

Abe will be attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on May 25—the first time a sitting Prime Minister of Japan has attended this annual event. He will speak on a panel at the plenary session with President Putin, French President Macron, and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde. Abe and Putin will also hold a bilateral summit on May 26, and then celebrate the “Year of Japanese-Russian Cultural Relations” with a visit to the Bolshoi Ballet.

Western “fake news” coverage of these developments has usually described them as an effort by Japan to build relations with Russia as a hedge against the “threat” of a rising China. Abe and Li Keqiang have now proven that to be a neocon pipe dream.

The New Silk Road in East Asia

All of the historic developments taking place across East Asia today, including the amazing process taking place on the Korean Peninsula, must be seen from above, as an expression of the “new paradigm” globally set in motion by Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative. At the trilateral Summit between Moon, Li, and Abe on May 9 in Tokyo, they agreed to foster joint development projects in Asia in infrastructure, industrial capacity, poverty reduction, and innovation cooperation, within the framework of “China-Japan-South Korea + X.” At the Summit Li Keqiang said that the Belt and Road Initiative is creating new opportunities for cooperation among the three countries, and that considering the advanced level of development of the three nations, and the development deficit in other parts of Asia, they should cooperate to bring technology, capital, and engineering capacities to open up fourth countries and foster rapid development across Asia.

Of course, North Korea is an obvious “+X” in this process, if the current diplomatic breakthrough in North Korean relations with President Moon and with President Trump, with major help from China, succeeds in ending the sanctions. Also, such cooperation need not be limited to Asia, but could rapidly expand to Southwest Asia and Africa, where all three Asian powers have considerable experience in building infrastructure, as well as industrial and agricultural capacities.

Following the trilateral summit, Premier Li and Prime Minister Abe attended a ceremony marking the 40th anniversary of the signing of the 1978 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan. Li called for “new steps” to bolster the confidence of the Chinese and Japanese people, as well as that of the international community, adding that the two nations should “cherish the hard-won momentum of improvement in relations.”

In attendance at the ceremony was former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, whose father Kakuei Fukuda had established diplomatic relations between China and Japan in the 1970s. Also in attendance was Sadayuki Sakakibara, the head of the Japanese Business Federation (Keidanren), who called for the business sectors of the two countries to collaborate “within the context of the Belt and Road.”

Will President Trump succeed in bringing the United States into friendly and collaborative relations with both China and Russia, as he intends to do, even though his intention is under attack by the underlings of the British Empire? He will find full support from a united Asia if he does—an Asia which has become the core driver for the world economy, while it is forging a new kind of relationship between world powers, based on the common aims of Mankind.