What Happened: China and Japan signed multiple agreements intended to strengthen bilateral ties during the first day of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official visit to China, the South China Morning Post reported Oct. 26. Both countries will cooperate on roughly 50 third-country infrastructure projects and agreed to resume currency swaps. Additionally, they will further discuss joint East China Sea energy cooperation and China's lifting of food import restrictions following the nuclear disaster at Fukushima.
Why It Matters: Both China and Japan are recalibrating their strategies toward each other as they look to hedge against uncertainties as well as increasing trade protectionism from the United States.
Background: Abe's visit is the first of its kind in seven years and marks a step forward in thawing Sino-Japanese relations. China and Japan both significantly benefitted from the liberal economic order and have much to lose as the United States pursues a more protectionist agenda. However, Sino-Japanese tensions will likely persist given the growing geopolitical competition in the maritime sphere.
- Japan's Relationship With China Evokes Cold War Memories (Oct. 25, 2018)
- China, Japan: Relations Continue to Thaw Amid Talk of Joint Infrastructure Projects (Sept. 11, 2018)
- AI and the Return of Great Power Competition (Aug. 2, 2018)
- In the East China Sea, China Crosses a Line (Nov. 7, 2016)