China, Japan Hold First Security Talks In Four Years

    Photo: Pool [via Reuters]

    The Facts

    • China and Japan on Wednesday launched their first official bilateral security talks in four years in the Japanese capital Tokyo, in a bid to improve strained relations between the two Asian powers.

    • Japan's Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Shigeo Yamada expressed concern about China's alleged use of spy balloons and increasing military activities, including suspected cooperation with Russia.

    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    It's not China that threatens stability in the region, but Japan's military buildup to counter the alleged "Chinese threat" while demonstrating just how firm security ties with Washington supposedly are. By bowing to US hegemonic interests and shifting from a defensive posture to offensive deterrence against China, Japan is playing a dangerous game. Tokyo should instead embrace the talks to work with China toward peace and stability.

    Anti-China narrative

    With the December announcement of its new national security strategy, Japan proved that it's no longer willing to stand idly by and hide behind a naïve belief in its pacifist security stance amid China's military intimidation. Therefore, Tokyo has correctly decided to double its defense spending and expand its alliance with the US. Japan has identified China as the greatest challenge to its security and shouldn't fall for Beijing's tricks.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 2% chance that there will be a deadly clash between Japanese and Chinese armed forces before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Articles on this story

    Sign up to our daily newsletter