In an opinion article, Lian Degui, deputy director of the Asian Pacific Research Center at the Shanghai Institute of International Affairs, said that the U.S. has always been dividing China and Japan and that dividing China and Japan is a geopolitical need for the Unites States. Lian observed that the United States is now using the "China threat" theory and the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) to block Sino-Japanese cooperation. It asks Japan to cooperate militarily and politically with the U.S. in its Asia-Pacific rebalancing strategy, acting as a pawn of the United States.
As for how China should understand Sino-Japanese relations, Lian expressed the belief that Japan has three important attributes in relation to China. Japan is one of China’s most important neighboring countries; it is one of China’s most important regional powers; and it is one of China’s most important trade partners. [China] should recognize the fact that, although the Sino-Japanese relations are currently at an impasse, the reality of the China and the "Abe" relationship is not equivalent to the entire Sino-Japanese relationship.
Lian concluded that China and Japan should make a rational assessment of their own interests. They should avoid pushing the other side in the opposite direction so they do not become chess pieces of an extraterritorial nation on the [U.S.’s] strategic chessboard and let the third party [the U.S.] benefit.
Source: Huanqiu (Global Times), September 23, 2014