Richard McGregor on the complicated ties between China, Japan, and the U.S. since World War II

Richard McGregor is the former Washington and Beijing bureau chief of the Financial Times, and a notable writer on Chinese politics. His last book was The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers. His new book, Asia’s Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century, tells the story of the triangle of the three most important powers in East Asia, none of which can be fully understood without some knowledge of the other two.

Richard talked with Jeremy and Kaiser about the events and issues that have impacted relations between China, Japan, and the U.S. since World War II. These include: how the U.S. blindsided Japan by acknowledging Beijing as the Chinese capital with only a few hours of notice in 1971; how Japan’s leaders have refused to grapple with the reality of comfort women during the war; and how China’s leaders and media have comfortably settled into using anti-Japanese sentiment as a convenient political tool.

Recommendations:

Richard: The Invention of Russia: The Rise of Putin and the Age of Fake News, a book by journalist Arkady Ostrovsky, who has written for the Economist and the Financial Times. And Fauda, an Israeli TV series about the Israeli Special Forces and Hamas.

Jeremy: The Twitter feed of Jorge Guajardo, former Mexican ambassador to China.

Kaiser: The works of Alan Furst, specifically, his book Dark Star, which unpacks the mentality of the purge of the mid-1930s in Russia.

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Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn is co-founder of the Sinica Podcast and currently edits SupChina and its daily newsletter.