Date
18 October 2017
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) and President Xi Jinping greet each other at last year's APEC summit in Beijing. A meeting between the two leaders could take place in September, according to reports. Photo: AP
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) and President Xi Jinping greet each other at last year's APEC summit in Beijing. A meeting between the two leaders could take place in September, according to reports. Photo: AP

China top envoy fuels talk of Xi-Abe summit in September

China is preparing for high-level talks with with Japan, fueling speculation of a leaders’ summit as early as September.

State Councillor Yang Jiechi, told visiting Japanese National Security Council head Shotaro Yachi that China is preparing for “high-level political dialogue” between the two countries, according to pool report cited by Reuters.

Sino-Japanese ties, long strained by China’s memories of Japan’s wartime aggression and disputed islands in the East China Sea, have improved since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Chinese President Xi Jinping at an Asia-Pacific summit in Beijing in November.

They met for a second mini-summit in April at an Asia-Africa leaders’ gathering in Jakarta and Japan wants to keep the thaw on track while ensuring China realizes the risks of an increasingly assertive maritime military policy.

Yachi, who is a close Abe ally, told Yang the bilateral relationship was improving and their meeting would be an important channel.

Over the weekend, Chinese state media quoted China’s Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping as saying Xi had invited Abe to attend events to mark the end of the World War II.

Japanese government sources have said another Xi-Abe meeting could well take place this year, although some said China probably first wants to see a planned statement by Abe marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.

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CG/RA

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