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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the tag “Meiji period”

Japan’s Endless Search For Modernity

Since the morning of January 3, 1868, Japan has struggled to answer one question: What does it mean to be modern and Japanese? It was on that date that a group of mid-level samurai and imperial courtiers announced the formation of a new government to be ruled by the 16-year old Meiji emperor, thus ending two-and-a-half centuries of control by the Tokugawa samurai family.

Read Here – The Atlantic

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The Defining East Asia War

For those seeking to understand the perilous politics of the region today, there is no better place to start than the First Sino-Japanese War, which pitted China’s fading Qing Dynasty against an ascendant Meiji Japan in a contest for regional supremacy. 

Read Here – National Interest

History’s Lens: How to Look at China

A question about historical precedents for China’s rise landed in my reader mailbag last week. “What,” my correspondent asked, “is the better optic for looking at China today — Bismarckian/Wilhelmine Germany, or post-Meiji Japan? Or both?” Both! Forced to choose, though, I think Imperial Germany supplies more useful indices for plotting China’s trajectory. Someone should really write something making the comparison. Like 19th-century Germany, China is a land power situated amid weaker, nervous neighbors. To compound matters, it has set out to make itself a sea power. Managing its rise without uniting a hostile coalition could demand a virtuoso performance from Chinese diplomats.

 

Read Here – The Diplomat

 

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