The Limits of Interdependence: Cooperation and Conflict in Sino-Japanese Relations

Adam Eldridge
2014 New Voices  
Since the introduction of Deng Xiaoping's Open Door policy in 1979, the value and complexity of Sino-Japanese economic ties have grown exponentially. However, even as economic ties have developed, security relations have deteriorated as perceptions of a 'China threat' and a 're-militarised Japan' have emerged in Tokyo and Beijing. e simultaneous existence of these trends challenges international relations theory. Economic interdependence theories expect that the development of economic
more » ... reduces the role of security in bilateral relations. Conversely, neorealist theories posit that, given the preeminence of national security, a perception of threat will cool economic relations. Sino-Japanese economic relations have demonstrable bilateral bene ts. Additionally, economic relations have created interest groups invested in maintaining good relations. ese groups have successfully managed economic friction points and integrated bilateral trade. However, economic interdependence seems not to translate to the security calculus con rming neorealism's contention that national security is preeminent. In particular, Japan's development of Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) illustrates the insigni cance of economic ties in security planning. at said, it is equally true that perceptions of threat appear to have little in uence on bilateral economic interdependence. erefore, Sino-Japanese relations are best described by applying interdependence and neorealist theories in a complementary approach.
doi:10.21159/nv.06.03 fatcat:oxyr2j3wtzhoxmi3zgmpsdbu6q