Author: Elena Atanassova‐Cornelis, Carmen Amado Mendes.
This article examines the dynamics of Japanese and Chinese post–Cold War security policies in East Asia and assesses the implications for regional stability. To this end, the discussion explores elements in both countries' security policy behavior, and Sino-Japanese relations that have a stabilizing and/or destabilizing impact on the region. The article argues that, on the whole, Japanese and Chinese security policies have contributed to more stability than instability. Although the security dilemma between Japan (and the United States) and China may have become more pronounced, the balance of power currently maintained may be assessed in positive terms for the region. In addition, Sino-Japanese competition for influence has led to strengthening East Asian institution building and thereby fostered stability. While there is ground for cautious optimism regarding the future of Sino-Japanese cooperation, mutual strategic distrust between Tokyo and Beijing will underpin the security dilemma and their competitive policies in the region.