China’s Wang assembly Suga in first high-level talks with Japan PM | China

Japan and China have agreed to work together on trade and pandemic while the territorial dispute remains unsolved.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday, marking Beijing’s first high-level contact with Japan’s new leader.

Wang met his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi on Tuesday, where they agreed to work together on trade and the fight against the coronavirus, but maintained their stance on territorial disputes, including in the Senkaku Islands, also known as Diaoyutai in China and left the delicate problem unsolved.

According to TV broadcaster NHK News, Motegi also called on China to be more transparent about its policies in the far western region of Xinjiang, where around a million Uyghurs are detained in re-education camps, which China says are vocational training centers, according to the United Nations.

Wang and Motegi did not discuss Chinese President Xi Jinping’s belated visit to Tokyo, Japanese media reported.

The Chinese Foreign Minister’s two-day visit comes amid growing concerns over Beijing’s assertiveness in the region.

While Japan’s security strategy is based on its alliance with the United States, it has also pursued economic interests through trade with China, its main trading partner.

Next stop: Seoul

On Wednesday morning, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu met Kato Wang for 30 minutes.

Kato told Wang that Japan’s stance on assessing its relationship with China has not changed under the Suga government, which aimed to “build a stable relationship between Japan and China,” he said at a regular briefing.

However, he reiterated his concern about China’s continued activities in the East China Sea and expressed concern about the political developments in Hong Kong.

Suga became Prime Minister of Japan in September, taking over Shinzo Abe, who took a tougher stance on China [Kyodo via Reuters]The two countries deal with different issues as neighbors, but these matters should be treated with mutual respect, Wang told reporters after meeting with Kato, according to Jiji Press.

Wang will later politely phone the Japanese Prime Minister, who so far has tried to reconcile Japan’s deep economic ties with China with security concerns, including Beijing’s claims about the disputed islands controlled by Japan.

While staying away from the US’s harsh anti-China rhetoric, Suga has sought to counter its influence by deepening ties with Australia and choosing Vietnam and Indonesia for his first overseas trip.

The Japanese government has complained about China’s “relentless” intrusion into waters around the islands claimed by both nations.

After meeting Suga, Wang will fly to Seoul in the expectation that he could use the trip to bring South Korea closer to the Washington-Beijing strategic rivalry that is set to continue under the administration of new US President Joe Biden.

According to the Yonhap news agency, Wang is expected to hold talks with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Thursday to discuss the situation on the Korean peninsula, among other things.

Also on the agenda of their talks are likely to include efforts by countries to arrange a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to South Korea, and Seoul’s quest to host a trilateral summit among leaders of South Korea, China and Japan.

Wang last visited Seoul in December 2019.

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