At the same time as both - China and Japan - had benefited from a mostly symbiotic, i"big brother-little brother" rapport in prehistoric times, and the twist of the 20th century marked the commencement of their disturbed rapport up to now. Japan's imperialist triumph over China in the earliest Sino-Japanese War (1894-1985) upturned China's preceding supremacy within the bond and lay down the tenor for Japan's domination over China for the century ahead. China's consequential bearing of Achilles' heel and persecution was worsened by enforced lenience to Japan at the "Versailles Peace Conference post-World War I"ii, which sparkled crowded anti-Japanese lobbies terminating in the 'May Fourth Movement of 1919' and a countrywide imposed sanctions of Japanese merchandise that pursued (Shih 1986). Later on, Japanese carnage in the following Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) also seeded crowded anti-Japanese movements and cemented China's hatred of Japan, eventually fueling the anti-Japanese constituents of Chinese jingoism. Till 2005, 'the Rape of Nanjing of December 1937'iii - the most horrible single event of Japanese bloodbath in China, where 300,000 Chinese nationals were cruelly assassinated throughout six weeks - persisted to exist on in Chinese reminiscences as a mark of Japanese brutality and a stimulation for continuous anti-Japanese ways of thinking in China these days (Backman 2005).
The intensifying Sino-Japanese conflict is driven both by larger historical factors and by East Asia's changing strategic balance. World War II and the Cold War left the Sino-Japanese rivalry unresolved (Backman 2005). Japan's surrender in 1945 did not result in regional reconciliation or integration in East Asia, or a common acceptance within Japan of the ravages perpetrated by the imperialistic regime. Although most Japanese supported the U.S.-created peace establishment and vowed never again to engage in warfare, the values, perceptions, and leaders of the period of imperial expansion were not categorically washed their hands of, as their fascist equivalents had been in Europe. This was partly the result of U.S. decisions to retain the emperor and permit politicians and bureaucrats associated with the imperial wartime regime to regain positions and organize political parties in the "new" postwar Japan (McCluskey 1999). More broadly, postwar Japanese society did not entirely jettison its distorted self-image of Japan as a struggling Asian nation beset by Western imperialists and eventually forced into a defensive war.
Many Japanese also prefer to see themselves as victims of the war and not as aggressors, largely as a result of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Moreover, the Communist victory in China in 1949iv created lasting geopolitical divisions between the two Asian powers that made reconciliation even more difficult. In order to strengthen their own nationalist credentials, the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) deliberately sought to sustain and strengthen a public image of Japan as a potentially aggressive, militaristic nation. During the Cold War, the U.S.-Soviet strategic conflict in East Asia not only overshadowed but effectively