Sunday, January 28, 2007

China and Japan Continue to Build Stronger Ties

Sources: People's DailyBloomberg

On Saturday, historical regional rivals China and Japan vowed to build “strategic, mutually beneficial” ties. The talks began on Thursday, and concluded Saturday in China. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Japanese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Yachi Shotaro headed each of the delegations in their three day closed door meetings. This was a second round of Sino-Japanese talks, the first of which occurred in May 2005. These meetings will attempt to rebuild ties between the two countries that were damaged by former president Junichiro Koizumi’s trip to Japanese war memorials in which Japanese war criminals were memorialized. While details of the talks have not been released in detail, the two sides had “frank and in-depth” exchanges of how the two states can continue to “maintain the sound momentum” of the strengthening ties.

These talks are only one of a series of “active exchanges” between the two countries. In October of 2006, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited China. Ithe ASEAN meetings earlier this month, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and met Abe on the sidelines and agreed “to increase exchanges of high-level visits and strategic dialog, and to expand cooperation in energy, environmental protection, finance, and the high-tech industry. This past week, a prominent legislator visited China. Furthermore, Wen Jiabao has agreed to visit Japan this spring—the first Chinese leader to do so in six years. These meetings are all part of the efforts to build the trust necessary to strengthen ties, and while no more official meetings are “scheduled”—both nations agreed to hold additional talks at a later date.

1. Can any type of strategic alliance form between China and Japan similar to the EU, i.e. can this cooperation possibly lead to a regional/continental alliance similar to that in Europe?
2. What impact may a China-Japan alliance have upon US-Japan relations and US-China relations?

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