China, Ja­pan to restart strate­gic talks

Ex­perts see im­pres­sive po­ten­tial in bi­lat­eral ties

Global Times US Edition - - BIZUPDATE - By Wang Yi

The Chinese For­eign Min­istry an­nounced on Thurs­day that China will hold a new round of strate­gic di­a­logue with Ja­pan af­ter a seven-year hia­tus of the bi­lat­eral talks, cov­er­ing a wide range of topics.

The good mo­men­tum of bi­lat­eral high-level ex­changes is set to bring closer eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the world’s sec­ond- and third- largest economies amid a bruis­ing Chin­aus trade war, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts.

China and Ja­pan will hold a new round of strate­gic di­a­logue on Satur­day in Ja­pan, For­eign Min­istry spokesper­son Hua Chun­y­ing said on Thurs­day.

The di­a­logue will be co-hosted by Chinese Vice For­eign Min­is­ter Le Yucheng and his Ja­panese coun­ter­part Takeo Ak­iba, Hua said.

China hopes to en­hance mu­tual po­lit­i­cal trust and pro­mote the im­prove­ment and de­vel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions through the di­a­logue, Hua added. “This is the re­sump­tion of the di­a­logue af­ter seven years.”

The re­sump­tion of strate­gic di­a­logue shows good mo­men­tum of bi­lat­eral high-level ex­changes that have been launched since the top lead­ers of the two coun­tries met in Osaka, Ja­pan ahead of the G20 Sum­mit, and warm­ing bi­lat­eral ties are set to boost the re­cov­er­ing eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two na­tions, ex­perts said.

“Eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and Ja­pan has great po­ten­tial, and now the two coun­tries share a com­mon stance of main­tain­ing and im­prov­ing the cur­rent mul­ti­lat­er­al­ism in global trade against US’ ris­ing uni­lat­er­al­ism,” Chen Zilei, di­rec­tor of the Re­search Cen­ter for Ja­panese Eco­nom­ics at the Shang­hai Univer­sity of Internatio­nal Busi­ness and Eco­nom­ics, told the Global Times on Thurs­day.

“Promis­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties lie in many sec­tors and there are lots of things to do for the two sides. The two coun­tries could en­hance fi­nan­cial and trade co­op­er­a­tion,” Chen said, list­ing sec­tors like cur­rency swaps, stock mar­ket in­ter­con­nec­tions and third-party mar­ket de­vel­op­ment.

Bi­lat­eral trade has picked up in the past two years af­ter a long de­cline, but the cur­rent level of trade is still be­low the peak, Zhang Jifeng, vice di­rec­tor of the In­sti­tute of Ja­panese Stud­ies at the Chinese Academy of So­cial Sciences, told the Global Times.

Ja­pan was the fourth-largest trade part­ner of China in the first seven months of 2019. The to­tal trade vol­ume of the two coun­tries in­creased 1 per­cent to 1.21 tril­lion yuan ($171.7 bil­lion), ac­count­ing for 6.9 per­cent of China’s to­tal for­eign trade, the Xinhua News Agency re­ported.

Yearly trade be­tween China and Ja­pan has the po­ten­tial to reach $500 bil­lion, if the two coun­tries can im­ple­ment the con­sen­sus reached by their lead­ers and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion can be en­hanced, Zhang said.

An im­prov­ing China-ja­pan re­la­tion­ship will greatly ben­e­fit both sides, and closer eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion with China can pro­vide Ja­pan with a strong driver for eco­nomic growth, Zhang said.

Ja­pan should cher­ish the hard­won good re­la­tion­ship with China and make con­crete ef­forts to im­prove bi­lat­eral ties, Zhang added.

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