China, Japan Vow to Cooperate as Trump Hits Them Both on Trade

28 October, 2018, 14:54 | Author: Emmett Rice
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For his part, Abe said: "Japan and China play an irreplaceable role in the economic development of Asia and even the world" and both sides should work together to "promote world peace and prosperity", according to CCTV.

The agreements were signed during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Beijing for the first formal Sino-Japanese summit in seven years, as Asia's two biggest economies looked to further build relations and trust against a backdrop of trade friction with the United States.

"I believe we need to take to a new level a free and fair trade system", Abe said after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

While anxious about China's growing naval power, Japan is also keen for closer economic ties with its biggest trading partner, but it must manage that rapprochement without upsetting its key security ally, the US.

He added that Japan sees its bilateral cooperation with China as an opportunity to forward progress in those areas and engage in constructive frank discussions.

Companies and official bodies of the two nations signed more than 50 agreements to cooperate on projects in third countries.

Japan's leader says the relationship between his country and China is entering a new phase, switching from competition to cooperation.

"Tomorrow I will visit China", Abe said.

"The visit is characterised both by the special strategic and global partnership that we established with Japan and by the personal relationship the prime minister has evolved with his counterpart PM Abe of Japan", said Gokhale.

Experts here also pointed out that the improvement of ties between the two countries is particularly significant under the current circumstances with rising trade protectionism in the world.

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The two sides also signed a currency swap agreement of up to 3.4 trillion yen ($30.29 billion), effective until 2021.

The two countries appear poised to enter a new phase in bilateral relations; one in which they will pursue cooperation on global challenges while at the same time their territorial dispute over the Okinawa Prefecture's Senkaku Islands will continue.

Japan wants to ensure any joint projects with China are transparent, open and fiscally sound, officials said.

Abe told a news conference that, "Japan and China are strong partners and will not be a threat to each other. In other words India, Japan plus one", said Gokhale.

Abe also said Tokyo was "determined" to normalise diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, but only if preconditions were met, including denuclearisation and the release of kidnapped Japanese citizens.

Modi will arrive in Japan on Saturday as Abe returns from a three-day visit to China, his first in six years to Beijing following tensions between the neighbours over some islands in the East China Sea.

The move triggered anti-Japan demonstrations across China, and things worsened after Abe - who was subsequently described as an "unwelcome person" - visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which commemorates Japan's 2.5 million war dead.

"If Beijing and Tokyo intend to plan their future bilateral relationship based on Washington's attitude, they will only get lost", the state-run daily said.

"We should constructively resolve our conflicts to maintain the political foundation for healthy China-Japan relations", he said.

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