Is Trump Pushing China and Japan Together? Not Quite

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Xi said such changes offered the two countries the chance to expand cooperation given their increased "common interest".

Abe said he hopes to use his visit as an opportunity to boost ties between the two countries and enter a new phase of relations - moving from competition to cooperation.

The two leaders oversaw the signing of several political agreements, including a currency swap deal and a mechanism to avoid accidental clashes between their militaries, which often come in contact in the East China Sea.

Shinzo Abe's three-day visit is expected to carve out new scope for cooperation between Asia's two biggest economies. "As countries with great influence in the region and the world, we should safeguard free trade".

Tensions over territorial disputes in the East China Sea have always been a key source of friction between the two countries.

A delegation of Japanese business leaders is accompanying Abe as Asia's two largest economies seek to deepen trade, investment and cooperation on infrastructure and other projects in third countries.

The bilateral agreement covered a range of issues such as counter-terrorism operations, narcotics trading, intelligence sharing, natural disaster relief efforts as well as China's construction activities in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).


Xi is expected to visit Japan next year, with Abe returning to China to attend a trilateral summit of the leaders of China, Japan and South Korea.

Diplomatic observers said the spat between China and the United States provided an excuse for Beijing to get closer to Tokyo, but said that tensions between the two could still erupt.

President Donald Trump's effort to win more favourable trade deals for the USA has focused most heavily on China, source of the biggest American trade deficit and the target of complaints over Beijing's policies for building leadership in advanced technologies.

That means Washington is making it harder for other countries to export to the U.S. market.

For years, Tokyo and Beijing have been mired in a territorial row over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

At the same time, culture wars over Japan's occupation of China have resurfaced, with Beijing politicizing wartime atrocities while nationalists in Tokyo argue their country should recapture its national pride.

Abe will be meeting Modi a few days after the first Japan-China summit since 2011.


Looking to hedge against the USA leader, Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to discuss how to improve economic cooperation between the world's second and third largest economies when they meet on Friday.

During Mr Abe's visit, the leaders will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the signing of a treaty between the two countries that was meant to set the tone for their relations following the war.

"The Chinese Communist Party always has this history card against Japan in their pocket", Takahara said.

Some other users urged caution during Mr Abe's visit, accusing an "ambitious" Japan of being a two-faced neighbour.

However, Prime Minister Abe warned Li that bilateral relations can not be truly improved without stability in the East China Sea.

Stating that Japan was one of the "most trusted partners" in India's economic and technological modernisations and one of the top investors in India, PM Modi said: "Projects like Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail and Dedicated Freight Corridors reflect the high level and strength of our economic engagement".


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