Thursday, October 31, 2013, 12:30 - 13:30
Professor, University of California, Irvine
For students of history, it has been a very worrying year. The world's second- and third-largest economic powers are at loggerheads over territory, diplomacy and history. Relations between China and Japan have corroded alarmingly. The Japanese media regularly rehearses scenarios for limited war with its huge neighbor. Public support for Japan among Chinese has fallen to historic lows. Tokyo's decision to nationalize three of the five Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands has added fuel to an already dangerously smoldering fire.
One of the key questions for observers of this faltering relationship is, "how much of China's outrage is manufactured ? and can it be controlled by the government?" A long-time analyst of Chinese affairs, Jeff Wasserstrom says Beijing must deal with an increasingly clear fact: dissatisfaction with Japan no longer translates cleanly into popular nationalism."Increasingly, driven by greater information transparency and reforms decades in the making, many Chinese are rejecting the selective memory of official media, and the idea that patriotism precludes criticism of the government."
The author of the acclaimed "China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know", Wasserstrom is Chancellor's Professor of Modern Chinese and World History at the University of California, Irvine, and also serves as editor of the Journal of Asian Studies. He is the author of four books, the most recent of which are "Global Shanghai, 1850-2010" (2009). What Everyone Needs to Know…" has just come out in an updated second edition. His commentaries and reviews have appeared in a wide range of newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, Time and The New York Times.
Come along and hear what a veteran analyst has to say about this vital subject.