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Japan seeking policy talks with China before leaders’ visits


Japan is proposing fresh dialogue with China in several specific fields to prepare for the potential resumption of reciprocal leaders’ visits. It is a significant thaw in Japan-China relations, that are showing signs of improvement: Neither Abe nor Xi has held talks in the format of an official visit to the other’s country since they both took office in 2012. Frameworks will concern the climate change and how best to reduce emissions; the nuclear disarmament to reduce tensions over the fundamental difference in their position (Japan is sheltered by the U.S. “nuclear umbrella”, while China has its own nuclear arsenal); the common ground about counterterrorism.

China supports Saudi Arabia amid regional tensions


China supports Saudi Arabia’s efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and achieve greater development, President Xi Jinping told Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, at a time of regional tensions between Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon and Yemen. China has traditionally played little role in Middle East conflicts or diplomacy, despite its reliance on the region for oil. But it has been trying to raise its profile, with Salman visiting China in March. Speaking by telephone, Xi told Salman that China’s determination to deepen strategic cooperation with Saudi Arabia will not waver, no matter how the international and regional situation changes, China’s Foreign Ministry said late on Thursday. Remarking on the importance of maintaining close communication between the two countries’ heads of state, Xi said China and Saudi Arabia are comprehensive strategic partners whose strategic mutual trust is deepening.

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