Odd Arne Westad on Frosty China-Japan Relations

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 1/10/2013 12:10:00 PM
LSE IDEAS is such a hive of activity nowadays I don't even manage to keep up with what the boss is up to. (Of course he isn't "odd"; it's a Norwegian name!) A few weeks ago I featured his well-received book about China's history of reaching out to the rest of the world since 1750. Fluent in Mandarin, he now has a take on Sino-Japanese relations in the New York Times that is quite critical of Chinese officialdom. (It even reached the "most-read" list a few days ago.) I mainly think this quarrel is a commercial disaster; he goes deeper into the historical tensions that remain unresolved. Given that we've been hosting Chinese Foreign Ministry officials via Chevening scholarship programmes for a few years now, I am still surprised how forthright he is while I would have been...more circumspect about doing so. I suppose academic integrity still counts for something in the highly commercialized world of higher education, and perhaps you don't build a reputation mincing words. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

And yes, Asians should all just get along.

PS: IPE@UNC will probably gloat that he completed his PhD in history at the storied UNC-Chapel Hill.