China-Japan relations

China and Japan plan trade and investment talks in Beijing in spring

  • High-level dialogue to build on promise of ‘new era’ in economic relations between the two countries
  • Hopes that closer ties can counteract US ‘America first’ policies
PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 December, 2018, 12:45pm
UPDATED : Monday, 31 December, 2018, 3:03pm

A high-level delegation from Japan could be in Beijing as early as the spring for talks on trade and investment issues.

Sources said on Sunday that the Japanese and Chinese governments were considering the high-level economic dialogue to improve ties based on a “new era” of relations, agreed to by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping during their October meeting in Beijing.

In October, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Abe that he hoped to achieve “win-win outcomes” by developing ties in a stable manner, especially through economic and trade cooperation.

Tokyo and Beijing are expected to discuss ways to promote free trade and maintain the multilateral trading system, at a time when US President Donald Trump is pursuing “America first” policies.

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The two countries will also discuss cooperation on advanced technologies.

Other agenda items would include cooperation on infrastructure development in third countries while taking into account their fiscal health.

Japan could potentially ask China to correct unfair trade practices such as subsidies to state-owned companies and violations of intellectual property rights.

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According to sources, China sounded out Japan about holding the dialogue at an early date. The meeting is expected to be held after China’s National People’s Congress, which starts on March 5, and following Japan’s Diet deliberations on the budget for the year from April.

The dialogue would be chaired by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. Economic revitalisation minister Toshimitsu Motegi and industry minister Hiroshige Seko would be among the Japanese delegation.

It would be the fifth such dialogue between Japan and China, with the last one taking place in Tokyo in April.

Regarding a visit to Japan next year, Xi told Abe during their October talks in Beijing that he would “seriously” consider his first trip to the country since taking office.