May 24, 2018

Li Keqiang calls for new progress of China-Japan ties

12 May 2018, 08:10 | Rufus Hill

Pool via CNN Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe South Korean President Moon Jae-in

China Japan draw closer as Asia's diplomatic order shifts

Li attended a trilateral summit with Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and held bilateral talks with them on Wednesday, about two weeks after a landmark inter-Korean summit on April 27.

Meetings between leaders from both countries can make great strides in ties, and the two countries have agreed to expand cooperation in fields such as finance and trade, Abe said.

The Japanese attendees briefly reviewed the history of the signing of the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship, voicing full agreement with Premier Li's remarks.

The trilateral meeting was resumed after a two-and-a-half-year suspension.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Toyota Motor Corp.'s electric-vehicle parts factory in Hokkaido on Friday, as the government of the world's second-biggest economy looks to promote eco-friendly EVs to curb air pollution.

It is based on the principles of the four cornerstone political documents, including this treaty, that the development of bilateral ties can be led back onto the right track in spite of twists and turns in the past, he said.

Li believes, the treaty will strengthen bilateral ties and is a vital move in the direction of peace and friendship between China and Japan.

In the economic sphere, Li said both sides are willing to bring bilateral pragmatic cooperation to a higher level, and achieve more mutually beneficial cooperation.

The state visit implies a thaw in the long-standing hostile relations between the two countries, which ensued from territorial disputes over East China Sea islands and grievances from World War II. They can work jointly in innovation and high-end manufacturing as well as in the financial industry, the premier noted.

Li said people-to-people exchanges, including tourism, should be promoted to enhance connections between the two peoples.

China and Japan will also launch a public-private sector council to consider cooperation projects related to China's Belt and Road initiative, while China will allow Japanese investors to buy up to 200bn yuan (US$31.4bn) worth of securities in Chinese onshore markets.

Abe and Li on Friday attended a forum created to promote exchanges between Japanese and Chinese local authorities.

For his part, Yohei Kono, former speaker of the Japanese House of Representatives, said he was amazed by the popularity of new services like bike-sharing, mobile payment and Internet-based delivery during his recent visit to China.

Li is in Japan for an official visit.

"Cooperation will be good for both China and Japan, as long as it's honest".

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