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Japan and China consider holding high-level economic dialogue in spring

Kyodo

The Japanese and Chinese governments are considering holding a high-level economic dialogue, possibly in the spring, in China to discuss trade and investment issues, according to sources.

Through the ministerial talks, they would aim to improve ties based on a “new era” of relations that they agreed to establish during a meeting in Beijing in October between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Xi Jinping.

The sources said Sunday that China is hoping to promote ties with Japan amid its own trade friction with the United States.

It would be the fifth such dialogue, with the last one having took place in Tokyo in April.

In a meeting in October, Premier Li Keqiang told Abe that he hopes to achieve “win-win outcomes” by developing ties in a stable manner, especially through economic and trade cooperation.

Tokyo and Beijing are expected to discuss ways to promote free trade and maintain the multilateral trading system amid U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies.

The two countries will also discuss cooperation on advanced technologies.

Other agenda items would include cooperation on infrastructure development in various countries while taking into account their fiscal health.

Japan could potentially ask China to correct unfair trade practices such as subsidies for state-owned companies and violations of intellectual property rights.

According to the sources, China sounded out Japan about holding the dialogue at an early date. The meeting is expected to come after the National People’s Congress starting in March and following Diet deliberations on the budget in April.

The dialogue would be chaired by Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. Economic revitalization minister Toshimitsu Motegi and industry minister Hiroshige Seko would be among Japan’s participating members.

Regarding a visit to Japan in 2019, Xi told Abe during their October talks in Beijing that he will “seriously” consider his first trip to the country since taking office.