The Year of Living Dangerously
Was 2014 a Watershed?
Business in a Changing World
Stewarding the Future
The Return of Geopolitics
The Revenge of the Revisionist Powers
The Illusion of Geopolitics
The Enduring Power of the Liberal Order
How to Respond to a Disordered World
What the Kremlin Is Thinking
Putin’s Vision for Eurasia
Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault
The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin
Who Started the Ukraine Crisis?
A Broken Promise?
What the West Really Told Moscow About NATO Expansion
Why the Kremlin Is Betting on Escalation and Isolation
China's Imperial President
Xi Jinping Tightens His Grip
Keep Hope Alive
How to Prevent U.S.-Chinese Relations From Blowing Up
Asia for the Asians
Why Chinese-Russian Friendship Is Here To Stay
A Meeting of the Minds
Did Japan and China Just Press Reset?
The End of Realist Politics in the Middle East
The Middle East's Durable Map
Rumors of Sykes-Picot's Death are Greatly Exaggerated
Staying Out of Syria
Why the United States Shouldn't Enter the Civil War—But Why It Might Anyway
The Hollow Coalition
Washington's Timid European Allies
This is What Détente Looks Like
The United States and Iran Join Forces Against ISIS
Measuring the Threat from Returning Jihadists
Welcome to the Revolution
Why Shale Is the Next Shale
New World Order
Labor, Capital, and Ideas in the Power Law Economy
The Strategic Logic of Trade
New Rules of the Road for the Global Market
After months of back-channel diplomacy, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese leader Xi Jinping finally met this week on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing. The Abe-Xi meeting is long overdue and represents the first time the leaders from the world’s second and third biggest economies have talked since Abe took office in December 2012. Beijing had simply refused to meet with Tokyo at the summit level ever since the previous Japanese administration made the ill-fated decision to purchase three of the disputed Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands in September 2012.
It isn’t only the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands dispute that has troubled relations between Beijing and Tokyo. China accuses Abe and his cabinet of historical revisionism, for one. Beijing points to Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine—a Shinto shrine dedicated to Japan’s war dead from a wide range of conflicts, from the Satsuma Rebellion to World War II—last December, along with repeated visits by several of his cabinet ministers, as proof that the current government wants to reinterpret the traditional narrative of Japanese culpability during World War II. Abe, meanwhile, has called out China for stoking international and nationalist sentiment against Japan through its education system and its desire to politicize its troubled history with Japan. Similarly, Abe has railed against Beijing’s repeated intrusions in the territorial waters around the Senkaku (Diaoyu) Islands as an affront to international law and a rules-based system.
The Abe-Xi meeting is thus a major breakthrough, and it comes mostly thanks to significant diplomatic pressure from Japan to hold such a meeting. For months, the Abe administration had sent former high-level Japanese politicians to Beijing as envoys. For example, just two weeks before the Abe-Xi meeting, Japan’s former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda met with Xi on the heels of the Boao Forum for Asia held in Beijing. Similarly, Tokyo’s new governor, Yoichi Masuzoe, met with Xi this past April. Fukuda’s and Masuzoe’s meetings
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