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December 2, 2020

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China-Japan ‘fast track’ adds gateway to solid ties

A China-Japan “fast track” for necessary personnel exchanges launched on Monday can further fuel bilateral cooperation to beat the COVID-19 pandemic and get work and production back on track. It remains fresh in the memory that during the outbreak’s heyday, the two countries have offered each other heart-touching support and urgently needed medical resources.

The newly opened gateway reflects that the still-raging pandemic, which has brought difficulty for bilateral people-to-people exchanges over the past months, can do little to diminish the two close neighbors’ willingness to maintain a stable development of bilateral ties.

In recent years, the China-Japan relationship, thanks to joint efforts of both sides, has returned to the right direction and begun to witness steadfast development.

In the political dimension, the two sides have seen frequent high-level exchanges and a growing political consensus for closer ties.

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s telephone conversations with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga back in September, the two leaders have agreed to work together for new developments in bilateral ties, and enhance cooperation in multiple areas.

On the economic front, the damage inflicted by the pandemic on bilateral trade and investment is healing fast. According to data of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, as China has effectively contained the virus and resumed social and economic activities, its monthly trade with Japan has warmed up since March.

Meanwhile, Japanese businesses have shown greater confidence in China’s economy and market. According to Sun Chenghai, deputy director of the China International Import Exhibition Bureau in Shanghai, the third CIIE, held in early November, saw the participation of 400 Japanese companies, 10 percent higher than that of the second CIIE in 2019.

Looking into the future, the two countries now face even greater opportunities to expand bilateral relations as required by the new era.

As Japan is going to hold the Tokyo Olympic Games next year and China will hold the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022, a year that will mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of the China-Japan diplomatic ties, those important occasions can offer golden platforms for the two countries to strengthen cooperation.

Already, the two sides have agreed to support each other to ensure big successes, for the two important sports events, during Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s just-concluded trip to Japan.

Also, the recent signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership is expected to inject more impetus into bilateral economic and trade partnership, and can serve as a catalyst to accelerate negotiations on China-Japan-Republic of Korea Free Trade Zone.

Those achievements are hard-won against the backdrop of rising trade protectionism and isolationism, and can speak for the common aspiration for an open world economy. China and Japan, the second- and third- largest economies in the world, share the heavy responsibilities to do more to enhance global free trade and multilateralism.

The author is a Xinhua writer.


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