Mon, Oct 15, 2012 - Page 5 News List

China boycott sign of things to come: analysts

AFP, TOKYO

Figures released in China this week showed trade with Japan slumped 1.8 percent to US$248 billion for the year’s first three quarters, although the customs bureau made no link with the row.

Analysts say Beijing is likely to continue to conflate bilateral political issues with multilateral financial ones.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, honorary professor of international politics at the University of Tokyo, said at a time when the world needed China to be paying attention, it was focused instead on the sovereignty spat.

“The move was intended to expose Japan to international pressure to solve the spat with China,” he said.

“For Beijing, the top priority is national governance. For the sake of this objective, China is likely to take similar action in the future,” he added.

However, some argue that China’s behavior is self-defeating because it will make it seem like a less attractive place to do business.

Some Japanese insurance firms have reportedly stopped offering coverage against riots for companies operating in China and manufacturers are said to be looking anew at third countries as a base for operations.

Shimamine said Beijing runs the risk of cutting its nose off to spite its face.

“China’s policy of putting weight on politics has given the impression that China has risks and is not an easy country to deal with,” he said.

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