In John Blockman’s letter to the editor of Feb. 11, “Chinese acquiescence to Japan,” he states that I missed the point of Gregory Clark’s Jan. 18 article (“So much for Abe’s reconciliation policy”) on Japan-China relations — namely, that China has had to give in to Japan on important issues because Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will not visit Yasukuni Shrine.

I do, in fact, acknowledge this, but the main point of my response to Clark was that he deliberately ignored the threats coming from Beijing, and chose instead to paint China as being a victim of, among other things, an alliance of “Indian castes, Japanese gangsters and Australian beer drinkers.”

“Rightist-leaning” moves may not be in China’s interest, but they are being welcomed in countries like Taiwan. Blockman does not deny China’s threatening moves, but Clark certainly has no trouble doing so.

james boyden

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