Beijing watching Tokyo for moves to improve ties, Tang tells Yamaguchi

Kyodo

China is closely watching what kind of action the new government in Tokyo will take to improve soured relations, former Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan told New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi during his current visit to Beijing.

“No one wishes to see a deterioration in Japan-China relations. (Beijing) is closely monitoring the stance and remarks of the new government, the new Cabinet (of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe) will take” to improve ties strained over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Tang was quoted by a New Komeito lawmaker as telling Yamaguchi in a meeting Wednesday.

Yamaguchi is carrying a letter from Abe, whose Liberal Democratic Party won the Dec. 16 election and formed a ruling coalition with New Komeito. Yamaguchi is the first senior lawmaker from the new administration to visit China since its launch in late December.

Sources said efforts are being made to arrange a meeting between Yamaguchi and China’s incoming president, Xi Jinping, on Friday, the final day of his four-day trip to China.

Yamaguchi was scheduled to hold separate talks later Thursday with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi as well as Wang Jiarui, head of the Communist Party’s International Department.

In Wednesday’s talks, Tang and Yamaguchi agreed that the two countries should continue dialogue and make joint efforts to get relations back on track. Tang was quoted as saying it is regrettable that the ousted Democratic Party of Japan government purchased three of the five main Senkaku islets from their Japanese private owner in September, a move that effectively placed the entire group under Tokyo’s control, despite China’s competing sovereignty claim to what it calls Diaoyu.

Yamaguchi said that if Tokyo and Beijing focus too much on the Senkakus, it will only worsen sentiment in each country. The two sides “should continue dialogue from a broader perspective” on bilateral relations, he said. Earlier Wednesday, Yamaguchi exchanged views on Sino-Japanese ties with scholars at the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

If Yamaguchi meets with Xi, he is expected to tell China’s new leader that a summit between Tokyo and Beijing should be held in the near future.

  • Far East

    Former Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan: “China is closely watching what kind of action the new government in Tokyo will take to improve soured relations”
    Yes, sure, and this goes both ways and even more. Not only people in Japan, but in the rest of the world are watching how this corrupt Chinese Government will work to stop their aggression and improve their relations with Japan.
    This Chinese Government does not seem to grasp that their aggressiveness toward its neighbors is sending an image of a not respectable State where it is hazardous to invest . With a GDP Growth claimed to be at 7.4% by their opaque National Bureau of Statistics, but with their Electricity Consumption Growth at 5.5% officially (probably less in reality) and since Electricity Consumption Growth is correlated with GDP Growth, this means China GDP growth in 2012 was actually 5.5% or even less. This is also confirmed independently by HSBC PMI Index[1] that shows at best a poor figure at 51.5 in December 2012 and at worst a contraction[2]. Additionally, its GINI coefficient underpinning the wealth disparity is estimated at above 0.61 by the Survey and Research Center for China Household Finance, a body set up by the Finance Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, which is a level close to social unrest[3]. The “official” Chinese number is attempting to portray a better story with a GINI coefficient at 0.474 in 2012 while the situation is known to have worsen…
    This context should normally urge the Chinese Government to refrain from aggressing internationally respectable nations like Japan, The Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei etc by making unfounded territorial claims[4]. This is likely to scare off investors like the drop in FDI has shown in 2012 following the Chinese riots organized by Chinese Government against Japanese assets.

    [1] http://www.hsbc.com/1/2/emerging-markets/em-index/~/media/HSBC-com/emerging-markets/pmi-press/2013/cn-manufacturing-eng-1301-pr.ashx
    [2] The PMI index was less than 50 during summer 2012 which implies a contraction of the economy.
    [3] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-09/china-s-wealth-gap-soars-as-xi-pledges-to-narrow-income-divide.html
    [4] It was Terra Nullius (no man’s land) before Japanese Government integrated it to Japanese territory in 1895 and since the end of World War II Japanese Governments have shown “continuous and peaceful display of territorial sovereignty” in line with the International Court of Justice case of The Netherlands v U.S.A. ‘Island of Palmas Case’ [1928] ICJ V II 839