Saturday 25 February 2017

Talks signal closer ties between China, Japan

Linda Sieg in Tokyo

Chinese President Xi Jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping have held talks on closer ties between the two countries.

The pair met for side talks at the Asian-African summit in Indonesia, in what was just the latest sign of a thaw between the Asian rivals.

Mr Abe told reporters after the meeting that the two leaders agreed to work for better relations and contribute to regional stability by promoting "mutually beneficial strategic ties".

Noting that Sino-Japanese relations had begun to improve when he met Mr Xi late last year, Mr Abe said: "We want to make the improving trend in the bilateral relations solid."

At the summit, Mr Abe warned powerful nations must not impose on the weak, an implicit reference to China.

He also made an allusion to Tokyo's remorse in the past over World War II, without issuing a fresh apology. Tensions between Asia's two biggest economies have flared in recent years due to feuds over wartime history, as well as territorial rows and regional rivalry.

But the talks were seen as an indication that a new willingness to work together to ease tensions in the East China Sea may be developing. l In Thursday's paper due to a production error a picture appeared with the wrong caption for China's president Xi Jinping.

Irish Independent

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