Asian rivals China, Japan vow ‘new starting point’ in ties

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Tokyo: Asian rivals China and Japan on Monday pledged a “new starting point” for bilateral ties, vowing to co-operate closely amid a flurry of diplomacy on the North Korean missile threat.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Japanese counterpart at a meeting in Tokyo: “With both of us standing on a new starting point, I hope we will promote the further development of both nations by opening a new future of bilateral cooperation.” Relations between the pair are entering an “important phase of improvement and growth,” Wang added, on a rare visit by a top Chinese official to Japan.
Tokyo is battling to stay relevant amid a string of summits on North Korea’s nuclear programme in which Beijing is likely to be a major player.
With this in mind, Japan is pushing to host a trilateral meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Bilateral visits by Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping are also being planned.
China demonstrated its significant influence over its reclusive ally when Xi hosted the North’s leader Kim Jong-un and his wife in Beijing last month.