Beijing and Tokyo both plan summits on establishing an early-warning system UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told yesterday's post-tsunami summit that an early-warning system based on the model used for the Pacific Ocean is a priority to ensure the Boxing Day cataclysm does not reoccur. But Sino-Japanese rivalry quickly surfaced at the meeting, with both countries seeking to establish a leadership role in setting up a system for the Indian Ocean and underlining concerns that donors may be working to more than just humanitarian agendas. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi proposed a special session on the system be held at the UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction, scheduled for January 18-22 in Kobe, where 6,000 died in a major earthquake a decade ago. Less than two hours later, Premier Wen Jiabao revealed plans for a China-Asean workshop on a warning system, which was scheduled for Beijing on January 25-26. Mr Wen said experts from Asean, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and relevant international organisations would be invited to set up an information-exchange system against natural disasters. A spokesman for Mr Koizumi said Japan had been unaware of the Chinese proposal but that the Kobe session would involve nations and international organisations experienced in dealing with earthquakes and tsunami. Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Chinese spokesman Liu Jianchao said it had yet to be decided whether Japan would be invited to the Beijing meeting, but that the mainland was ready to work with its historic rival. 'If China is invited to the Kobe special session, we will give it our positive consideration. We are ready to work with Japan on this issue,' he said. But observers say China is concerned that Japan may be increasing its influence in the region, along with Australia and the US, by contributing vast amounts of money and other resources to the relief effort. They say that while Beijing lacks the economic clout to challenge Tokyo's role as a major donor in the region, it may see the early-warning system as a way to raise its profile. Japan has officially pledged US$500 million in aid, while Mr Wen yesterday pledged an additional US$20 million. 'At the call of the United Nations, China has decided to provide an additional US$20 million, in addition to what it has already promised, to be used for multilateral rescue and reconstruction,' he said. Beijing pledged 21 million yuan in the days after the disaster, followed by 500 million yuan last week. Mr Wen also said Beijing would provide low-interest loans and encourage mainland tourists to visit tsunami-ravaged areas to help rebuild tourism. China was also was considering debt relief for the affected countries and would be ready to help with repairing roads, schools and hospitals, he said.