Northeast Asia's New 'History Spiral'
Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, Volume 3, Issue 1, pages 111-119, January 2016, Crawford School of Public Policy
9 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2016
Date Written: December 28, 2015
The remembered history of the Second World War continues to infect contemporary relations between China and its Northeast Asian neighbours. This article argues that a ‘history spiral’ has taken hold in Northeast Asia as a result of the region’s changing strategic order and domestic politics in China, Japan and South Korea. Using the case studies of the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands territorial dispute, the Dokdo/Takeshima territorial disputes, and Sino-South Korean memorial diplomacy, we explore the interactive spiralling dynamics of Northeast Asia’ s history problems. We suggest that despite some recent signs of an improvement in Northeast Asian relations since late 2014, the ‘history spiral’ is likely to remain a fixture of Northeast Asia's international politics owing to the region's changing strategic order.
Keywords: history, memory, Northeast Asia, security, Second World War
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