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