Beyond just cooperation: the competitive Sino-Japanese economic ties
Date of Issue2014
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
The relations between China and Japan during the last two decades have been politically cold and economically hot. How do we define the "hot economy"? By reviewing history and evidences, the two Asian giants have established quite close, intense but complicated economic ties since the 1970s. The various contentious economic issues have not only created mutual benefits but also stimulated bilateral rivalry at the same time. The simultaneous scenarios of benefit and conflict have drawn an even more controversial picture on the either cooperative or competitive economic relations. Based on theories of relative gains supported by neorealism against absolute gains promoted by neoliberalism, this dissertation aims to analyze the competitive nature of Sino-Japanese economic ties. Although cooperation is often understood as the core characteristic to describe the bilateral economic relations, competition, in essence, is the implication and the latent phenomenon behind the cooperative relationship. This dissertation shows neither a positive nor a negative attitude toward SinoJapanese ties, based on the perspective that the economic relations are neither a completely confrontational rivalry nor an entirely cooperative friendship. In specific, the research will be conducted through three aspects in the bilateral economic relations: trade, FDI, and energy. The author will illustrate these respects using the latest theoretical and empirical literature on Sino-Japanese economic relations. China and Japan do share common risks and there are numerous opportunities for them to implement a variety of cooperative practices, but competition has inevitably become the main and essential feature, as China has displayed a more aggressive gesture vis-a-vis Japan while Japan has increasingly viewed China as a main economic and military competitor.
DRNTU::Business::International business::International economic relations