Japan's Abe Heads to China Vowing to Lift Ties to ‘New Level’

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who travelled to Japan in May, greeted Mr Abe at Beijing's Great Hall of the People following his arrival on Thursday.

The prime minister stressed that China would maintain yuan at a rational stable level to ensure the country's economic and financial stability. The Trump administration has promoted the grouping, emphasizing that all four countries are democracies and changing the name of the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii to the Indo-Pacific Command, to signal India's strategic role and the range of forces that could unite against China.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Beijing on Thursday as both countries try to fix ties that have been riven by disputes over territory, military expansion in the Pacific and World War II history. He then meets Xi on Friday, which will be the first Sino-Japanese summit since 2011.

The agreements were signed as Asia's two biggest economies looked to further build relations and trust against a backdrop of trade friction with the United States.

Before his departure, Abe said the 2 countries have been striving to improve ties as they mark the 40th anniversary this year of concluding their peace and friendship treaty.

"Coordination and cooperation between China and Japan will help curb trade protectionism in the world while providing a stable and predictable policy environment for cooperation between enterprises", said Jin.

Japan and China are both responsible for the region's peace and prosperity, Abe said, adding that he hoped to achieve it by boosting exchanges in all areas, from business to sports and politics.

A delegation of Japanese business leaders is accompanying Abe as Asia's two largest economies seek to deepen trade, investment and cooperation on infrastructure and other projects in third countries.

Following the press conference, Abe was due to take part in a forum on infrastructure projects and visit Peking University, before having a meeting and attending a dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Japan also hopes for progress towards implementing a 2008 agreement on jointly developing gas fields in disputed waters, and wants China to ease import limits on produce from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Modi will arrive in Japan on Saturday as Abe returns from a three-day visit to China, his first in six years to Beijing following tensions between the neighbours over some islands in the East China Sea.

On Wednesday, Chinese spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular press briefing that China believes the countries are "duty-bound to strengthen communication and cooperation and jointly safeguard global rules and order to promote world peace and development with each undertaking its respective efforts".

"From competition to co-existence, Japan and China bilateral relations have entered a new phase", Mr Abe said at a briefing.

The historical rivals have been drawn closer together under pressure from the United States to slash trade deficits.

They are also expected to discuss the territorial issue that put their relationship into a deep freeze.