ASIAdocument.write(“” + m[today.getMonth()+1]+ ” “+ today.getDate()+”, ” + theYear + ” “);HOMECHINAWORLDBUSINESSLIFESTYLECULTURETRAVELSPORTSOPINIONREGIONALFORUMNEWSPAPERChina Daily PDFChina Daily E-paperChina Daily Global PDFChina Daily Global E-paperOpinion / EditorialsEditorialsOp-EdColumnistsContributorsCartoonsSpecialsFrom the PressForum TrendsFrom the ReadersDebateEditors Pick:Syrian refugeescyberspaceV-Day paradeshrimp scandalTPPJapan reopens Chinas wounds(China Daily) Updated:2014-07-25 08:14Comments Print Mail Large Medium SmallFew wounds take so long to heal. But the defeat in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, which broke out 120 years ago today, remains an open wound in Chinese national psyche.
Not because it hurt us too badly. The subsequent unequal Treaty of Shimonoseki, fittingly portrayed as “humiliating the country and forfeiting its sovereignty”, has since been a hallmark of national shame. But the Japanese imposed on us greater shame and sufferings in the decades that followed.
Nor because we are a nation of grudge-holders. We have befriended posterity of Western intruders responsible for our nations humiliating past, and are forming partnerships with them. Even to Japan, our worst enemy in history, our leaders always reiterate the wish to let friendship “last from generation to generation”.
But because the same old ghost of expansionist Japan is lurking next door, causing a contagious sense of insecurity throughout the region.We cannot afford to not be vigilant, because Shinzo Abes Japan is strikingly similar to the Japan of 120 years ago. International concerns about the likelihood of history repeating itself in Northeast Asia are not groundless. Because, like in 1894, Japan is again aspiring for “greatness” through expanding its overseas military presence. And its foremost target is, again, China.
It is dangerous to underestimate Japan as a security threat. Which it was, and still is.
The Japanese prime ministers rhetoric about peace may be engaging. But never forget Japans extreme duality. Its wars of aggression have always been launched in the mode of surprise attacks while waving the banner of peace.
In 1871, Japan signed the Sino-Japanese Friendship and Trade Treaty with rulers of Chinas Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), which promises mutual respect for and non-violation of each others territories. Hardly had the ink on that document dried when the Japanese began invading Ryukyu, then a Chinese tributary. The Ryukyu kingdom was finally annexed in 1879 and renamed Okinawa.
On Japans agenda of overseas expansion, the 1894 surprise attack against China was a carefully plotted advance to control Korea before slicing China. But the Japanese government eulogized its acts of aggression as those of benevolence aimed at “preserving the overall peace of East Asia” against “barbarians and semi-barbarians”.
The more devastating Japanese war of aggression, embarked in 1931, was also waged in the name of peace, under the pretext of building an “East Asia sphere of common prosperity”.
Even today, Japanese politicians call it a war of “liberation from white colonialism”, even “enlightenment”.
In amazing similarity, present-day Japan is flexing its military muscles overseas in the name of proactive peace. Also like in the run-up to the year of 1894, with peace on lips, Abe is waging a propaganda war against China, framing us as a threat.
This country has suffered enough from its one-sided wish for peace, and poor preparedness for worst scenarios.
Now is time for a break.8.03KRelated StoriesJapan challenges Chinas sovereignty over islandsJapan must stop playing with fireIts Abe who worsens Japans security environment: opposition leaderJapan must correct attitude: spokesmanMost Viewed Todays Top NewsTo help, or not to helpGood times beckon for Latin American tiesThe clowns behind gilded masksPoor children the priorityLessons from Europe a century agoForum TrendsI love chopsticks!Would you get cosmetic surgery?The Dink dilemmaGender discrimination while job huntingIs sex still a taboo in China?Forum Trends: One word to describe ChinaForum Trends: An expats favorite places in ChinaColumnistsChina can learn from CubaNo place for farce in charityFeatured ContributorsDisaster reports reveal new mediaFood scandal exposes loopholesStar BloggersShall I dwell in the past or move on to the future? By MaierweiThe past was awesome, the past was great. Congratulations, congratulations. Your ancestors were great people. Congratulations again.What is the difference between rich family and poor family By tanxihuaWhen a kid is born in a rich family, it seems like that she or he owns the best things. All these basic necessities of life are easy for the rich to get.Chinese philosophy in Chinese characters By michaelchoiChinese characters have evolved over thousands of years. The quintessence of Chinese civilization and culture has thus been handed down from generation to generation.SpecialChen Qinggang, keeping the world in focusLetters reveal Japanese war atrocitiesChinas brands: Gobbled up by global giants?…| About China Daily | Advertise on Site | Contact Us | Job Offer |Copyright 1995 -. All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.License for publishing multimedia online 0108263             Registration Number: 130349