On the row over Senkaku-Diaoyu islands

In the 2,200 years of contact between China and its island neighbour, Deng Xiaoping was the first Chinese leader to set foot in Japan. He was also the first to meet the emperor of Japan.

During his visit to Japan in 1978, Deng Xiaoping became the first Chinese Communist leader to hold a Western-style press conference in any location. Some four hundred reporters attended at the Japan Press Center.

When a reporter asked about ownership of the Senkaku islands, the audience became tense, but Deng replied that the Chinese and the Japanese held different views, used different names for the islands, and should put the issue aside so that later generations, who would be wiser than those present, could solve the problem.

This is how the ‘wiser’ generation has handled it in 2012.

This time, it has led to anti-Japanese protests in several Chinese cities and a warning from China that economic ties could be affected. A number of Japanese companies were forced to briefly halt operations earlier this month because of protests.

On Wednesday the Toyota Motor Corporation confirmed that it was cutting back production in China because of a slowdown in orders and sales. A spokesperson would not elaborate on how much of a reduction was planned.

A ceremony due to mark 40 years of diplomatic ties between the two nations has also been cancelled.[BBC]

Update: Here is a list of the most ridiculous anti-Japan boycotts in China.

Wherever Deng Xiaoping is now, he must be felling extremely disappointed with the recent turn of events on the controversial archipelago.

Reference: Deng Xiaoping and the transformation of China by Ezra F. Vogel

DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.