Date
26 July 2017
The Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan, remain a bone of contention between the two East Asian powers. Photo: Bloomberg
The Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan, remain a bone of contention between the two East Asian powers. Photo: Bloomberg

Little hope of improved ties with ‘two-faced’ Japan: China

China sees little reason for optimism that relations with Japan will improve, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Tuesday, accusing “two-faced” Tokyo of constantly seeking to make trouble.

Relations between the two East Asian powers are strained by the legacy of Japan’s World War II aggression and conflicting claims over a group of uninhabited East China Sea islets.

While ties have been thawing, with meetings between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping recently, Beijing remains deeply suspicious of Tokyo, especially after Abe moved to allow the military to fight overseas for the first time since the war.

Speaking at his yearly news conference on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress, Wang said he hoped bilateral ties could improve as the two have a “tradition of friendship”.

“Thanks to the efforts of wise people on both sides, there are signs of improvement in China-Japan relations, but there is little ground for optimism,” he said.

“Of course we want to see China-Japan relations truly improve, but as a saying goes, to cure diseases, you have to address underlying problems.” 

On one hand, the Japanese government and leaders say nice things about wanting to improve relations, but on the other they “create trouble for China at every turn”, he said.

“This is what I would call a typical case of being two-faced.”

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