24 November 2014
While the visual impact of the meeting between Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe was uninspiring, the communiqué regarding the disputed East China Sea islets is a positive step. The test of success, however, will be to see what effect it has on the two countries’ rhetoric and behaviour.
The APEC Summit that recently concluded in Beijing was a forum for many memorable images, most notably the uncomfortable handshake between China’s President Xi Jinping and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. This long-delayed meeting was the follow-up of a communiqué drafted on 7 November 2014, when State Councillor Yang Jiechi held talks with visiting National Security Advisor of Japan Shotaro Yachi in Beijing.
At that prior meeting the two sides reached a four-point principled agreement to arrest deteriorating bilateral relations. The agreement’s four terms are that the two sides: 1) affirm they will follow the principles and spirit of the four political documents between China and Japan and continue developing the China-Japan strategic relationship for mutual benefit; 2) agree on overcoming political obstacles in the bilateral relationship; 3) acknowledge that different positions exist between them regarding tensions over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands and some waters in the East China Sea, and agree to prevent these tensions from escalating via dialogue and consultation and to establish crisis management mechanisms to avoid contingencies; and 4) agree to gradually resume political, diplomatic, and security dialogue through various multilateral and bilateral channels and to make efforts to build political mutual trust.
…Ian C. Forsyth is a Visiting Fellow at the Military Transformations Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. Dr. Forsyth works as an analyst at the United States Pacific Command in Hawaii.
IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 25/11/2014