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Against backdrop of trade war with US, China and Japan start new chapter in bilateral ties

Tokyo – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is leading a high-level delegation to Japan. The visit assumes significance as it is after a gap of nine years that a Chinese Foreign Minister is visiting Japan to discuss bilateral relations. The hand of friendship extended by China, just a couple of days prior to Japanese Prime Minister’s US visit has raised eyebrows.

The last round of talks between China and Japan had taken place way back in the year 2010. Later, the dispute over the Senkaku Islands in the ‘East China Sea’ and controversies concerning some of the events of the World War II had created a major rift resulting in escalation of tensions in the two neighbours.

Moreover, Japan’s support to intervention by the United States against the backdrop of nuclear tests conducted by North Korea and its participation in the strategy to contain China in the ‘South China Sea’ had taken the China-Japan ties to their lowest bottom. Furthermore, China’s increased military expenditure, steps taken to militarize the ‘South China Sea’ and the Chinese intrusion in the waters of Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea had further added fuel to this fire.

In the view of this, the decisions taken by the US President Donald Trump in the direction of a trade war and the changed US policy on North Korea seem to have played a role in bringing China and Japan closer. On Sunday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a 4-hour long discussion with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono. Later, on Monday, discussions were held for few hours between the high-level delegations of China and Japan on improving the bilateral relations in the two countries.

Both the countries agreed on creating a new start in their bilateral relations. At the same time, the Ministers involved informed that they both share the concern that a trade war will badly hit the global economy. The Japanese Foreign Minister said that these discussions are part of a landmark step in the bilateral relations of the two countries and that they hope that the two nations would also advance their economic cooperation.

Later, the Chinese Foreign Minister called on the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. During the talks, the Japanese Prime Minister is believed to have asked China to assist in pushing North Korea to abandon its nuclear program, informed sources. The demand which comes forty eight hours prior to the US visit of the Japanese Prime Minister has grabbed attention worldwide.

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