ABSTRACT

China’s perspective on the impact of great power relations in Japan-Southeast Asian relations has been heavily infl uenced by its respective relations with Japan and the ASEAN states. These two sets of relationships have displayed remarkable contrast. On the one hand, until very recently relations with ASEAN countries have been among the most successful in Beijing’s “peripheral diplomacy” since the 1990s. According to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, “the China-ASEAN relationship has been at its best in history.”1 On the other hand, for most of the time during the same period, Beijing’s relations with Tokyo have remained “economically warm but politically cold.” Their strategic distrust and suspicions deepened rather than reduced and their visions about the future East Asian international order have seen little convergence.