Abe, Xi vow to take ties to ‘new heights’

Traditional rivals China and Japan are describing the ongoing visit of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe to Beijing as an “historic opportunity” to mend fences and develop enduring ties in the areas of business and investment.

“We should seize this historic opportunity and make it become a new historic orientation for the development of Sino-Japanese relations,” said Chinese President Xi Jinping. Abe too spelt out his plans, saying, “Switching from competition to collaboration, I want to lift Japan-China relations to a new height”. He added that, “Japan and China will not become a threat to each other.”

Analysts, however, see the warming in Sino-Japan relations as an attempt by Xi and Abe to hedge the risks thrown up by aggressive trade actions launched by US President Trump.

Talks of cooperation have remained confined to trade, with the two leaders avoiding the issue of disputes over islands in East China Sea, observers noted. The two presided over the signing of a dozen deals including a currency swap pact worth $30 billion.

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