Authors

June Teufel Dreyer

University of Miami
Photo of June Teufel Dreyer

June Teufel Dreyer is Professor of Political Science at the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, where she teaches courses on China, U.S. defense policy, and international relations. Professor Dreyer has lectured to, and taught a course for, National Security Agency analysts, consults for organizations including the National Geographic and Centra Technology. She is a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and a member of International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Formerly senior Far East specialist at the Library of Congress, Dr. Dreyer has also served as Asia policy advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations and as commissioner of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission established by the U.S. Congress. Dr Dreyer’s most recent book, Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising Sun: Sino-Japanese Relations Past and Present, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. The tenth edition of her China’s Political System: Modernization and Tradition, is scheduled for publication in 2018. Professor Dreyer received her BA from Wellesley College and her MA and PhD from Harvard, and has lived in China and Japan and paid numerous visits to Taiwan. She has served as a United States Information Agency lecturer, speaking in fourteen Asia-Pacific states. Professor Dreyer has published widely on the Chinese military, Asian-Pacific security issues, China-Taiwan relations, Sino-Japanese relations, ethnic minorities in China, and Chinese foreign policy. In 2017, she received the University of Miami’s faculty senate award as Distinguished Research Professor.

Middle Kingdom and Empire of the Rising Sun: Sino-Japanese Relations Past and Present. Oxford University Press, 2016

Articles by June Teufel Dreyer
Warmer Words, Continuing Defense Preparations

Chinese President Xi Jinping successfully presided over the Boao Forum indicating progress toward establishing China as the fulcrum of the international trading system. Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō’s political future was clouded by the Moritomo Gakuen scandal.  Formal high-level dialogue between Beijing and Tokyo, interrupted since September 2010 was cautiously reinstated in April. In the same month, lower-level military exchanges resumed after a six-year hiatus. Despite talk of resetting relations, there was no resolution of key issues such as the disposition of disputed islands in the East China Sea or of present-day Japanese responsibility for the country’s conduct during World War II. As for trade, although both China and Japan are committed in theory to early conclusion of the Regional Economic Cooperation Partnership agreement, Japan favors a deal closer to the Trans-Pacific Partnership while China wants additional concessions to support its economic reform goals. Nonetheless, China hopes to obtain Japanese participation in its Belt and Road Initiative.

Managing a Fragile Relationship

As China’s President Xi Jinping entertained national leaders in Beijing, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe Shinzō made appearances at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly and the New York Stock Exchange, and authored an op-ed in The New York Times.  Abe’s common theme was denunciation of North Korea’s provocative behavior, adding that China must play a greater role in curbing its activities. Abe also indicated Japan would consider supporting companies that participated in the Belt and Road Initiative and partner with China in underwriting aid to African countries, while hinting strongly that he would like an invitation for a state visit. China is holding fast to its conditions for a formal meeting: Japan must agree there is a dispute over Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands ownership and show that it has come to terms with its misconduct during World War II.  At yearend, Beijing’s Global Times asserted that bilateral ties had broken out of their slump while Japanese papers reported a senior LDP official as stating the two sides had pushed their relations to a new state, enabling them to discuss the future.

No Setbacks, No Progress

The pattern of warm trade and cold politics continued over the summer of 2017. No discernible progress was made in resolving issues between Japan and China. Leadership interaction was limited, while economic relations showed some signs of improving and tensions in the East China Sea dominated defense activity. At the end of September, the government-sponsored China Daily opined that it was “no exaggeration to say that the past five years have been among the darkest days in Sino-Japanese ties since the two established formal diplomatic ties.”

No Pyrotechnics, No Progress

Though free of the large-scale anti-Japanese demonstrations and acerbic exchanges that have characterized the recent past, the cold peace between China and Japan continued in the early months of 2017. There were no meetings of high-level officials, and none were scheduled.  Mutual irritants continued on familiar topics:  defense and territorial issues, Taiwan, trade and tourism, and textbooks and history.