Ministers hope to ease neighbourly feud
China laid out firm conditions yesterday for improved ties with Japan, telling Tokyo’s visiting foreign minister that there could be “no ambiguity or vacillation” in meeting Beijing’s demands over historical interpretation, relations with Taiwan and other key matters. Beijing portrayed the visit by Fumio Kishida as an act of outreach to an angry China, as the two sides try to repair relations bedeviled by disputes over territory, history and competition for influence in East Asia. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Kishida that the ties must be based on “respect for history, adherence to commitment, and on cooperation rather than confrontation”. Relations have gone through “twists and turns in recent years due to reasons best known by Japan”, Wang said, adding that China desires “healthy and stable relations” with its neighbour and key economic partner. Wang said Japan needs to “turn its words into deeds”. The Foreign Ministry quoted him as saying that Japan must adhere to commitments in previous agreements, “face up and follow the one-China policy to the letter” - reference to Beijing’s insistence that Taiwan is Chinese territory.
VISIT: Fumio Kishida (left) shakes hands with Wang Yi