7 Reasons China and Japan Won't Go To War  (Page 2 of 3)

1. Beijing’s nightmare scenario. China might well win a war against Japan, but defeat would also be a very real possibility. As China closes the book on its “century of humiliation” and looks ahead to prouder times, the prospect of a new, avoidable humiliation at the hands of its most bitter enemy is enough to persuade Beijing to do everything it can to prevent that outcome (the surest way being not to have a war at all). Certainly, China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, does not want to go down in history as the man who led China into a disastrous conflict with the Japanese. In that scenario, Xi would be doomed politically, and, as China’s angry nationalism turned inward, the Communist Party probably wouldn’t survive either.

2. Economic interdependence. Win or lose, a Sino-Japanese war would be disastrous for both participants. The flagging economy that Abe is trying to breathe life into with a $117 billion stimulus package would take a battering as the lucrative China market was closed off to Japanese business. China would suffer, too, as Japanese companies pulled out of a now-hostile market, depriving up to 5 million Chinese workers of their jobs, even as Xi Jinping looks to double per capita income by 2020. Panic in the globalized economy would further depress both economies, and potentially destroy the programs of both countries’ new leaders.

3. Question marks over the PLA’s operational effectiveness.The People’s Liberation Army is rapidly modernizing, but there are concerns about how effective it would prove if pressed into combat today – not least within China’s own military hierarchy. New Central Military Commission Vice-Chairman Xu Qiliang recently told the PLA Daily that too many PLA exercises are merely for show, and that new elite units had to be formed if China wanted to protect its interests. CMC Chairman Xi Jinping has also called on the PLA to improve its readiness for “real combat.” Other weaknesses within the PLA, such as endemic corruption, would similarly undermine the leadership’s confidence in committing it to a risky war with a peer adversary.

4. Unsettled politics. China’s civil and military leaderships remain in a state of flux, with the handover initiated in November not yet complete. As the new leaders find their feet and jockey for position amongst themselves, they will want to avoid big foreign-policy distractions – war with Japan and possibly the U.S. being the biggest of them all.

5. The unknown quantity of U.S. intervention. China has its hawks, such as Dai Xu, who think that the U.S. would never intervene in an Asian conflict on behalf of Japan or any other regional ally. But this view is far too casual. U.S. involvement is a real enough possibility to give China pause, should the chances of conflict increase.

December 6, 2013 at 22:38

Does China’s ruling party want to revive the long dead imperialist Japan? Japan has been pacified for about 70 years now and in peace. For any who live through WW2 or understands the history will be concerned if Japan begins arming again.

So what is China’s ruling party getting out of this tension? It is to fuel the ever growing nationalism and divert its citizen’s attention away from the internal issues? Is it a mask to justify its military build? Is it trying secure resources to sustain its growth and population? Or is it just plain national pride?

December 5, 2013 at 15:24

The author didn’t intend the article as an informed opinion or analysis, but a piece of propaganda overplaying Japan and US military capability. The author might actually believe what he’s writing since he himself grew up under prolonged, saturated indoctrination and propaganda in the US. Fortunately, or unfortunately for the author, he’s been fed all the wrong information upon which he has drawn his conclusions. Japan can’t win a war against China or Russia, regardless of US involvement. The whole point of having Japan as an “ally” has been to make Japan the one to die first (cannon fodder) and weaken obstacles (China and Russia) to US hegemony. The Americans have neither the intention nor the capabilities to fight on behalf of Japan (just ask Vietnam).

October 8, 2013 at 03:23

“Japan has reaped more than one hundred years of unprecedented benefits from its aggressions”

How has Japan benefitted from its past aggressions? One should say it had suffered much more.

Japan benefitted from its initial humility toward the West, willingness to Westernize early, and learn, without presumption of grandeur, then later American remorse.  

It is precisely because China lately has started to be willing to learn, to Westernize, that it will resurge to dominate Japan.  The numbers will prevail.

October 8, 2013 at 03:11

War now? Nuts.           

In another 30-50 years, China will dwarf Japan militarily and commercially. Is China really as stupid as to start a war now? I don't think so.

China is 11 times the size of China and has been growing faster than Japan by wide margins for 30 years.

China and Japan are just two different categories of entities.

By the time China dwarfs Japan, a war will not be necessary.

Japan is being myopic. I will be quite depressed if I were Japanese. The time to better allow the coming generations of Chinese to forgive Japan’s past atrocities is  now.

August 18, 2013 at 13:43

Wrong analysis.  See defeats from iraq, afgahnistan, and vietnam wars.

August 18, 2013 at 05:53

It is clear China will wait till it believes to be strong enough before striking. The (egemon's) will is there. They're just missing the means.

August 17, 2013 at 03:43

No.1 is a great possibility, Czarist rule in Russia ended when it embarked on a disastrous naval war with Japan.

Mr. Barber
July 25, 2013 at 23:18

I strongly feel that the solution to this mess is for China to purchase mining rights from Japan to develop the resources around the island chain. Japan needs the economic boost and China needs the resources for its growth. The deal could even include Japan getting some of the resources as part of the purchase.

July 18, 2013 at 18:39

Abe wants to play tough to show that he is strong.Without the support of the US, he will be impotent.

June 25, 2013 at 00:47

You indian will never accept the truth losing the war between China. Apparently you indian just so stubborn and naive. War has no prepared or prepared,because a strong nation they shall be prepared all the time, you these indian just so extremely lack of understanding military knowledge. And plus indian border army started first fire, Okay???

Uncle Chen
June 25, 2013 at 00:27

No countries recognize you Japan as a normal country, you pay them to recognize it. Don't forget the Potsdam Declaration

June 25, 2013 at 00:18

Potsdam Declaration!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It have no right to claim any other territory but It own main islands. 

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