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Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 00:14 | SYDNEY
Saturday 19 Aug 2017 | 00:14 | SYDNEY

The economics of Japan-China tension



8 February 2013 09:29

One line of Raoul Heinrichs' analysis of the increasing maritime tension and military competition in Northeast Asia that jumped out at me was his claim about the effects of economic integration (my emphasis):

Virulent forms of nationalism are increasingly finding expression in the form of national policy rather than just public demonstration, while economic interdependence shows no sign of inhibiting competition - and in some cases may even be at risk of going into reverse.

What is Raoul basing this claim on? The article he links to describes the economic losses being suffered by both sides as a result of the ill feeling. But couldn't we just as easily argue that the tensions would be far worse if Japan and China did not have an economic stake in avoiding a war?

For an in-depth discussion of the links between economic integration and war, it's worth going back to a debate we staged in 2010 featuring Hugh White, Michael Wesley and Mark Thirlwell. I have always felt that our debates are The Interpreter's strongest and most important feature, and this particular discussion demonstrates nicely the atmospherics we aim for. There's serious intellectual horsepower here and some deep research, but the tone is convivial and never strident. Dive in.

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