Commentary: Mishandling Taiwan issues won't do Japan any good
                 English.news.cn | 2014-02-20 13:34:56 | Editor: Fu Peng

by Tian Dongdong

BEIJING, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- If a government claims to recognize you as the sole legal government of a country, but at the same time allows some of its lawmakers to institute a relationship act with part of your territory, you have good reason to feel cheated and ask why.

The attempt by 70 Japanese lawmakers of the governing Liberal Democratic Party to institute a so-called Japanese version of the Taiwan Relation Act is nothing short of a sheer and senseless provocation, which will further damage Japan's reputation and the stability of the region.

In fact, the 1972 Sino-Japanese Joint Communique, a cornerstone of the China-Japan relationship, states clearly that the Japanese government fully understands and respects the Chinese government's position on Taiwan as an inalienable part of the territory of China.

Let's make it clear: the Taiwan issue concerns China's core interests. It also concerns the political basis of China-Japan relations in handling Japan-Taiwan relations.

A simple assumption could help these lawmakers better understand the bitter irony behind the harebrained act: if lawmakers of a country with diplomatic ties with Japan try to make a relations act with Okinawa, what they will do? Will they also hold it as a challenge to Japan's sovereignty and a diplomatic fraud? The answer would probably be positive.

Meanwhile, given the fact that the lawmakers are led by Nobuo Kishi, senior Vice Foreign Minister and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's younger brother, we have reason to believe that this is another step taken by Abe's nationalistic cabinet to infuriate China for cheap political gain.

By denying and whitewashing the history of invasion, Abe and his cabinet have launched a political campaign to deviate Japan rightward at the expense of not just relations with neighbors, but regional peace and stability.

What lies behind the campaign is simple -- Abe needs to appeal to right-wing conservative voters so he can remain in the political arena. By pandering to the increasingly radical right-wing elements in Japanese politics, he is chasing his own interests at the expense of the whole nation, leading Japan down a dangerous path of provocation and isolation.

The provocative attempt of these lawmakers further ruins Abe's efforts to present Japan as a responsible and reliable partner in the international community, bringing nothing but doubt and suspicion to an already-volatile East Asia.

If Japan really wants to repair its relations with China, as claimed by Abe, it should immediately stop challenging China's bottom line. After all, leveraging Taiwan cards is simply playing with fire.

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