He Said, She Said

If Asians are known as being more quiet and passive, it makes sense that China and Japan are using polite words to argue an intimidating issue.

When a Chinese vessel collided with a Japanese boat, it sparked a maritime cat fight between two rich and powerful countries–but countries that seem to need and rely on each other for economic development and growth.

China exports rare earth metals to Japan which was temporarily halted, while Japan held the captain of the Chinese vessel that collided with the Japanese one in territory claimed by Japan.

Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan used this as a platform to say that China should act more responsibly. He then went on to remind the international community of the slow build up of China’s military (which spent 7.5 percent of its GDP in 2010, down from it’s double digit growth in previous years).

This, as if to warn the rest of the world about a fact we already–sort of–know: That China is slowly becoming the new U.S., a dominant global power (which was more of a footnote in the BBC article).

Or perhaps Japan is just refusing to acknowledge that they overreacted and stalling an apology until this blows over and they can add it to the list of other things it hasn’t apologized for.

Regardless, both China and Japan could benefit by fueling each other economically through trade and collaboration, if they could just be less passive and say what’s on their mind. Here’s where being rude might actually help them.

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