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By L. Buszynski

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The issue came to a head when on 14 July 1995 the right-wing Japan Youth Federation built a temporary lighthouse on one of the islands and returned in September to repair it. 38 Of greatest concern to the Chinese has been Japan’s alleged role in fostering separatism in Taiwan through the pro Taiwan lobby group in the Japanese Diet and politicians with strong links with Taiwan. Since the signing of the revised defence guidelines with the US in 1997 the Chinese have perceived a Japanese intention to cooperate with the US in the support of Taiwan.

Historically, the Chinese resorted to force along the peripheries of the empire to prevent concentrations of power emerging which would threaten the empire. 5 The role of realism in China’s foreign policy has been reinforced by the collective memory of weakness in modern times in which China is regarded as a victim of the predatory imperialist powers in the nineteenth century. Chinese official representatives often reveal the “victim syndrome” in that China was trampled on and humiliated in the past and has a right to seek respect in the future.

Values, identity and the lost territories Taiwan’s reunification is top on China’s agenda for reasons that go to the core of China’s sense of identity as a modern state. The consolidation of China’s borders is part of the definition of a modern state, which includes the incorporation of territories that may have been only loosely connected with the centre in the past. Pre-modern empire systems and states had loosely defined borders and various degrees of influence over territory along their peripheries.

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