BEIJING—There are many obscure tourist sites in Beijing. One missed by many foreigners is the Chinese People’s Anti-Japanese War Memorial Hall.
The museum illustrates why China, America’s most fearsome potential competitor, and Japan, Washington’s most important Asian ally, often are at odds. The two are a conflict waiting to happen, which could draw the U.S. into war with a nuclear power.
Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over last week’s World War II victory parade in Beijing. However, the conflict with Japan continues in many people’s minds.
Following Washington’s lead, Tokyo did not recognize the PRC until 1972. Since reestablishing official ties the two countries’ relationship has gyrated up and down. More than talking is necessary to resolve four major disputes: history, trade, territory, and security.
Although the Chinese Communist Party manipulates history for its own benefit—young Chinese learn little about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests—the CCP has been quick to criticize Tokyo for failing to take responsibility for Imperial Japan’s actions.