Japan-China high-level trade and economic talks, which were held in Beijing over the weekend, have helped advance economic ties between the countries and improved overall bilateral relations. The talks did not resolve the issue of China’s exploitation of natural gas fields in an area of the East China Sea contested by both countries. But Chinese Premier Wen Jiapao — who agreed to launch the talks with then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in April — summed them up well when he said to Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, “It’s clear China-Japan relations have taken another step forward, especially in the area of trade and commerce.”

Both sides have agreed to push “strategic, mutually beneficial relations.” Japan will also extend ¥46.3 billion in yen loans to China, the last such loans to China. Both countries agreed to cooperate to protect intellectual property rights and promote food safety. Japan will soon export an additional 150 tons of rice to China and China will expand its exports of pork, beef and pumpkins to Japan. Japan expressed its expectation that China “will make efforts” to allow the Chinese yuan to appreciate more rapidly.

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