China, Japan Open First Economic Dialogue in Almost Eight Years

China, Japan Open First Economic Dialogue in Almost Eight Years

Liao Shumin

Date: Mon, 04/16/2018 - 19:53 / source:Yicai
China, Japan Open First Economic Dialogue in Almost Eight Years
China, Japan Open First Economic Dialogue in Almost Eight Years

(Yicai Global) April 16 -- China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, held the Fourth China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue in Tokyo today. It is the first such dialogue between the two countries in nearly eight years.

China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono co-chaired the meeting which was participated by senior government officials from both sides. It comes only days before a summit meeting between Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump.

"After reopening these talks, we are both standing at new starting points to discuss future cooperation that will, I hope, lead to fresh economic growth for both nations," Wang said. China’s foreign minister served in Japan as a diplomat for eight years, including three as ambassador.

Japan and China agree that a trade war will have serious consequences for the world economy, Kono said. “We have shared understanding that a trade war, no matter which country has brought it about, would have a very large impact on the prosperity of the international economy,” Kono told reporters after the dialogue.

As the highest-level communication mechanism between Chinese and Japanese governments in the economic field, the dialogue was first initiated in April 2007. One of its main tasks is to exchange views on economic development strategies and macroeconomic policies of both countries and deepen mutual understanding.

Three previous sessions of the dialogue were held in China and Japan in turns in December 2007, June 2009 and August 2010, after which it has been suspended due to the Diaoyu islands dispute in the East China Sea and other issues.

Cooperation on Belt and Road Initiative

The fourth dialogue will discuss President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative, a grand plan to build vast infrastructure and trade route boasting a major network of railroads, highways, ports and pipelines embracing the continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, and trade and investment, among other topics, reported Economic Information Daily earlier.  

China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Japan-US Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy, which calls for connectivity between continents, will be discussed at the dialogue, said Japanese media reports. Given the import restrictions of the Trump administration on iron and steel and aluminum products, both sides may also exchange views on the importance of free trade, Kyodo News reported on April 14.

"It is quite possible that Japan cooperates with China on various [Belt and Road] projects on a case by case basis where international standards are met,” Japan’s Foreign Minister Kono said after today’s meeting.

Some report also suggested that the dialogue will also discuss the upcoming annual meeting of leaders of China, Japan and South Korea.

Editor: Mevlut Katik

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Keywords: China-Japan, Trade, investment