xi welcomes abe as chinajapan ties thaw over economic cooperation
Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Last Updated : GMT 06:49:16
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Xi welcomes Abe as China-Japan ties thaw over economic cooperation

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Arab Today, arab today Xi welcomes Abe as China-Japan ties thaw over economic cooperation

PM Shinzo Abe and President Xi Jinping.
Beijing - DPA

Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing on Friday, as ties between the two nations thaw over economic cooperation.

At a business forum earlier in the day, Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang oversaw the signing of agreements between Chinese and Japanese companies for more than 50 joint projects, including building a smart city in Thailand.  

The leaders agreed to create a "new framework" for cooperating on projects in third countries, as relations battered by a history of war and territorial disputes seem to be mending.

"Switching from competition to collaboration, I want to lift Japan-China relations to a new era," Abe said, according to Kyodo news agency. "Japan and China are neighbours and partners. We will not become a threat of each other."

Li said the countries' relations "have returned to a normal track," and China wants to "stably develop ties in the long term."

"Especially regarding our economic and trade cooperation, we earnestly want to lift it to a new phase," Li added.

Abe's visit, which started on Thursday and will go until Saturday, is the first bilateral visit to China by a Japanese prime minister in seven years.

The historic rivals have been drawn closer together under pressure from the United States to slash trade deficits. Li and Abe both committed to promoting free trade, in contrast with US President Donald Trump's protectionist policies.

The countries' central banks agreed to reopen a 30-billion-dollar currency swap line they had suspended over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea in 2012. The deal aims to ensure stability in the event of a financial crisis.

China and Japan pledged to also cooperate in the areas of high-tech and intellectual property protection.

The two countries have been mired in a territorial row over islets in the East China Sea, which are known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. The dispute flared after Japan in 2012 took control of the islands, leading to protests and boycotts in China.

In a measure meant to deepen trust, Abe and Li said they would work together in search and rescue missions in waters off the two nations. Abe said Tokyo and Beijing were going to make the East China Sea a "sea of peace, cooperation and friendship," according to Kyodo.

Abe and Xi were expected to discuss a range of regional and global issues, including North Korea's denuclearization. Abe has invited Xi to visit next year.

Regarding human rights, Abe told Li the international community is monitoring the situation in China, where about 1 million Muslim Uighurs have reportedly been placed in internment camps, a Japanese official said, according to Kyodo.

 

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