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Japanese Foreign Ministers Visit China to Release Important Signals: Abe will send special envoys to participate in the “Belt and Road” summit Welcome to Xi Jinping to attend the G20 Osaka Summit

April 15, 2019 22:51

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Wang Yi said that the improvement process of Sino-Japanese relations is still in its infancy, facing both important opportunities and sensitive and fragile sides.

At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoheo Kono paid an official visit to China from April 13th to 15th. This is Kono’s visit to China after attending the Japan-China summit meeting in Beijing last October.

On April 15, Premier Li Keqiang met with Kono. According to the Chinese government network news, Li Keqiang said that China and Japan are important neighbors to each other. Since last year, with the joint efforts of both sides, the relations between the two countries have returned to the right track and achieved new development. On the basis of the principles established by the four political documents of China and Japan, the two sides should promote the long-term, healthy and stable development of bilateral relations in the spirit of "taking history as a mirror and facing the future."

Li Keqiang emphasized that China and Japan are the major economies in the world. Strengthening cooperation is not only in the interests of the two countries, but also conducive to regional, world peace, stability and prosperity. Both sides support free trade and abide by the rules of the World Trade Organization. They should work together to create a fair, equitable and non-discriminatory business environment for each other. The Chinese side will unswervingly deepen reforms and expand opening up, and welcome Japanese companies to expand investment in China.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China is also willing to work with Japan and relevant parties to promote the China-Japan-Korea Free Trade Area and the "Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement" (RCEP) negotiation process, creating greater opportunities for the common development of regional countries. The Chinese side supports Japan to run the G20 summit in Osaka this year and is willing to work together with all parties to promote global economic governance reform and inject new impetus into the world economic development.

Japanese officials such as Kono Taro said that the Japanese and Chinese prime ministers successfully exchanged visits last year and bilateral relations have returned to normal track. The Japanese side is willing to strengthen cooperation and exchanges with China in the fields of innovation, finance, environmental protection, hydrogen energy, tourism, youth, smart cities, third-party markets, deepen communication and coordination in the multilateral arena, and promote positive progress in the RCEP negotiations during the year.

On April 14, Wang Yi and Kono co-chaired the fifth high-level economic dialogue between China and Japan. According to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi said that the improvement process of Sino-Japanese relations is still in its infancy, facing both important opportunities and sensitive and fragile sides. The Japanese side has repeatedly stated that China and Japan should compete for competition as a coordination, and hope that Japan will launch more practical measures for this purpose. The Chinese side welcomes the Japanese side to send a high-level delegation to attend the second "One Belt, One Road" international cooperation summit forum.

On April 15th, the Foreign Affairs Reporter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Da Yuyue, introduced the relevant situation of Kono’s trip to China. He said, "We are very happy to see Sino-Japanese relations return to normal track, including economic cooperation between the two sides."

  Strive to reach RCEP during the year and promote the China-Japan-ROK FTA negotiation process

Trade is one of the key elements of this dialogue. Daxie introduced to the 21st Century Business Herald reporters that the two sides expressed their desire to accelerate the RCEP negotiations and the China-Japan-ROK FTA negotiations. Regarding the RCEP negotiations, all members have indicated that they will work hard to reach an agreement within this year. In yesterday's dialogue, China and Japan reiterated their efforts to make efforts to this end. Regarding the China-Japan-ROK FTA, China and Japan indicated that they would promote substantive progress in the negotiations. "But there may be a lot of content related to RCEP that needs to be discussed. This may be a bit complicated." There is no timetable yet. Compared with RCEP, the standards of China-Japan-Korea FTA are expected to be higher.

At the bilateral trade level, according to Daxie, Japan proposed to the Chinese side that it hopes to lift restrictions on Japanese food imports as soon as possible so that agricultural products such as rice and beef can be exported to China as soon as possible.

Questions about Huawei 5G are also being discussed. Daxie pointed out that during the dialogue, "China mentioned that Huawei's business activities in Japan have been affected. Foreign Minister Kono responded that the Japanese government has never taken any means to deliberately exclude any company or any company's products."

  Japanese side welcomes Xi Jinping to attend the G20 Osaka Summit

During the dialogue, the two sides expressed their willingness to continue to promote the implementation of the G20 Summit of the leaders and strengthen cooperation under the framework of the G20 mechanism. The Japanese side welcomes President Xi Jinping to attend the G20 Osaka Summit. China supports the Japanese side and has achieved positive results.

As the rotating presidency of the G20 this year, what expectations does Japan have for the G20 Osaka Peak? Which topics will be a priority issue? What kind of cooperation does Japan look forward to with China? In response to these questions, Daxie responded to the 21st Century Business Herald reporters. In the talks between yesterday and today, the two sides did not discuss the specific contents of the summit's expected results. At present, the discussions on the G20 between the two sides remain at the departmental level.

When asked about Japan's position on WTO reform, Daxie pointed out that both sides recognize that WTO reform is an important topic. Both sides have expressed the need to jointly safeguard multilateralism and the free trade system, and agreed to strengthen communication and coordination on WTO reform. However, he pointed out that the two sides did not discuss specific topics related to WTO reform.

  Abe will send special envoy to attend the "Belt and Road" summit

Daxie pointed out that the two sides had an in-depth discussion on the topic of "One Belt, One Road" cooperation. “With regard to infrastructure development, Foreign Minister Nono emphasized the importance of meeting international standards such as openness, transparency, economic efficiency, and financial sustainability of the host country.”

Daxie also confirmed that the second tier of the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party, Junbo, will participate in the second "One Belt, One Road" international cooperation summit as the special envoy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The second order participated in the first “Belt and Road” international cooperation summit forum in May 2017.

According to Kyodo News, the second order will visit China from the 24th to the 29th. This will be the second-order visit to China after last summer, he will visit Beijing and Shanghai. In addition to participating in the “Belt and Road” international cooperation summit forum, he will also attend the opening ceremony of “Beijing World Horticultural Exposition”.

On April 14, Wang Yi said in his concluding remarks at the dialogue meeting that China expects Japan to participate in the "One Belt and One Road" in a more positive and clear manner. In further deepening the cooperation between China and Japan, Wang Yi said that China welcomes Japanese companies to make active use of the progress made by the China-Europe team and the companies in the Eastern European Economic Corridor (EEC) project.

In May 2018, Premier Li Keqiang and Abe decided to jointly explore third-party markets during his talks with Abe. In October of the same year, when Abe visited China, the two sides held the first Sino-Japanese third-party market cooperation forum in Beijing, and signed 52 cooperation agreements during the forum, covering infrastructure, finance, logistics, information technology and other fields. In April 2019, the China-Japan third-party market cooperation seminar was held in Bangkok. The first Sino-Japanese third-party cooperation project may be launched in Thailand.

Daxie pointed out that during the dialogue, the two sides clearly stated that they should closely follow up the implementation of the 52 cooperation agreements and continue to promote the cooperation between the private companies in the third-party market. He pointed out that the two sides are studying the time for the second China-Japan third-party market cooperation forum. He also revealed that the two sides talked about the cooperation projects that China and Japan can carry out in Thailand, but he declined to give any details.

(Article source: 21st Century Business Herald)

                (Editor: DF395)

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