Ja­pan's Abe pur­sues China thaw as U.S-Bei­jing ties in deep freeze

Daily Messenger - - International -

TOKYO: While U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump ap­pears to wage a trade “Cold War” on China, Ja­pa­nese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe will pro­mote a thaw with Bei­jing at a sum­mit this month where busi­ness ties will be in the spot­light.

A tough line on China helped Abe to re­gain of­fice in 2012 dur­ing a row over tiny East China Sea isles that put ties in a deep chill. Now, Abe hopes to build on a rap­proche­ment wel­comed by Bei­jing, which is locked in an es­ca­lat­ing trade war with Wash­ing­ton.

Ja­pan shares U.S. con­cerns about Bei­jing’s mar­itime as­sertive­ness and is ex­tend­ing itsmil­i­tary reach to counter China. Ja­pa­nese firms worry also about Chi­nese vi­o­la­tions of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights and tech­nol­ogy theft.

Still, busi­ness ties with China, the world’s sec­ond largest econ­omy, are vi­tal for Ja­pan.

“To en­sure that Ja­pan has sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth, you can­not ig­nore eco­nomic re­la­tions with China,” said a Ja­pa­nese for­eign min­istry of­fi­cial, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity.

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