- The Japanese government revealed on Friday that Wang Yi will be in Japan for a two-day visit.
- In recent years, as China-US trade disputes have become more and more intense, there have been signs of relaxation in relations.
- Wang Yi will arrive in South Korea on Wednesday for a three-day visit.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Friday that, at the invitation of Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyungwa, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Japan and South Korea from November 24 to 27.
The Japanese government revealed on Friday that Wang Yi will be in Japan for a two-day visit. On November 24, he is scheduled to meet with Toshimitsu Motegi and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
This is the first time a high-level Chinese official has visited Japan since Yang Jiechi, member of the politburo of the Communist Party of China, visited Japan in February this year.
In addition, during Wang Yi’s visit, Japan and China may discuss the resumption of bilateral business travel, and establish a “business channel” to allow visitors to engage in limited business activities during the 14-day quarantine period. Japan has reached such agreements with South Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.
Toshimitsu Motegi pointed out that before the outbreak, China accounted for the majority of foreign tourists visiting Japan, and he hopes to negotiate with China how to resume tourism while implementing epidemic prevention.
Motegi said that since the two countries are still focusing on fighting the epidemic, the two countries have not considered rescheduling the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Japan. President Xi was scheduled to visit Japan in April this year, but his itinerary was delayed due to the new coronavirus epidemic.
China-Japanese relations were once strained due to sovereignty disputes and the history of World War II. However, in recent years, as China-US trade disputes have become more and more intense, there have been signs of relaxation in relations. As a major ally of the United States, Japan regards China as an important trading partner while facing the challenge of how to balance relations.
China’s continuous expansion of regional influence has aroused growing concerns among other countries. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Yoshihide Suga reached an agreement on deepening bilateral military cooperation during his visit to Japan this week, aimed at promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
The Associated Press pointed out that Japan, Australia, the United States and India are trying to unite Southeast Asian countries and other countries to create an “Asian NATO” to counterbalance China.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu told reporters on Friday that the concept of a “free and open Indo-Pacific” is not aimed at a specific country. “We plan to achieve our goals by cooperating with any country that agrees with this vision.”
After leaving Japan, Wang Yi will visit South Korea. The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Wang Yi will arrive in South Korea on Wednesday for a three-day visit, during which he will meet with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa.
Yonhap News Agency quoted South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs as reporting that the two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on the development of bilateral relations, such as strengthening joint defense and control, high-level exchanges, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the region.
Wang Yi is also expected to meet with officials from the Blue House to discuss President Xi’s visit to South Korea and the changes in the situation brought about by the incoming Biden administration.
Kang Kyung-ho told Congress last week that South Korea and China have not yet discussed the exact date of President Xi’s visit, but are currently negotiating to facilitate the visit to South Korea after the epidemic has stabilized.
Since the outbreak of the new coronavirus epidemic in China, Wang Yi is the second high-level Chinese official to visit South Korea after Yang Jiechi. South Korea also sent high-level diplomats to China for economic dialogue in July this year.
Since the United States deployed the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea in 2017, there have been differences between China and South Korea.