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Japan, China agree on dangers of trade war for global economy

Muslim Times (Web Desk) – China and Japan have warned against the serious repercussion of a trade war for the global economy, calling for joint efforts to protect multilateral trade systems amid economic frictions between Beijing and Washington.

At a meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, in Tokyo, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the two economic powerhouses should jointly oppose trade protectionism and work to bolster an open world economy, according to a statement released by China’s Foreign Ministry.

Wang is the first Chinese foreign minister in nearly a decade to visit Japan for high-level economic negotiations between the world’s second and third economies. Kono had made his own official visit to Beijing earlier this year.

The top Japanese diplomat also said after the talks that both sides see eye to eye on the dangers of a trade war for the world’s economic system.

“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,” Kano said.

The comments come as global financial markets remain rife with fears of a full-blown US-China trade war, which could rattle global trade and economic growth.

The tensions have seen the US slap a series of tariffs on goods imported from China, prompting retaliatory measures from Beijing.

The two officials further discussed ways to ameliorate bilateral Tokyo-Beijing ties, which had significantly deteriorated over the past years over territorial disputes and the tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

“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,” Kono said.

Wang also said both countries are “standing at new starting points to discuss future cooperation that will, I hope, lead to fresh economic growth for both nations.”

Tokyo and Beijing also reiterated their commitment to UN resolutions aimed at persuading North Korea to stop its military nuclear program, according to Kano.

Last year, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping met together at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam, where they expressed a shared commitment to resolving regional crises.

“Since last year Japan has, in relations with China, displayed a positive message and friendly attitude,” Kono said, adding that the two sides were working together to resolve the standing issues ahead of a summit between the two Koreas this month, and a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and
US President Donald Trump, possibly being set for May.

The summits are planned to give leaders a venue to explore and find a way to reach peace on the Korean Peninsula so Pyongyang can safely abandon its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programs, which it says are designed to defend its nation against foreign aggression.

Kono, and other Japanese ministers, are scheduled to hold more meetings with Wang on Monday to review several other topics.

On Tuesday, Japan’s Self Defense Force officers will meet officers from China’s People’s Liberation Army in an effort to create mutual trust between the rivaling sides.

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