China plans to seek Japans cooperation in tackling U.S.
restrictions on steel imports at high-level economic talks in Tokyo
on Monday, according to sources close to bilateral relations.
Earlier this month, Chinese diplomats told their Japanese
counterparts that they wanted to put U.S. steel tariffs on the
agenda for the talks and discuss what the two countries could do
next together, the sources said Friday.
A factory worker checks rolls of aluminum in Zouping County in
east Chinas Shandong province on April 7. | AP
Japan is reluctant to get on the wrong side of the Trump
administration due to the importance of maintaining the Japan-U.S.
security alliance, they said.
China and Japan will resume an economic dialogue after a hiatus
of more than seven years, the latest sign of a thaw in
The tariff issue may also be high on the agenda when Chinese
Premier Li Keqiang visits Japan in May for a long-delayed
trilateral summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean
President Moon Jae-in, the sources said.
Although Japan has its own worries about the way China conducts
trade, it has found itself, alongside China and several other
countries, on a list of nations subject to increased tariffs on
steel and aluminum products that U.S. President Donald Trumps
administration rolled out last month.
Other U.S. allies, such as South Korea, have been given
Abe is scheduled to meet Trump in the United States in the
coming week and is expected to ask Trump to exempt Japan from the
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who will chair his countrys
delegation to Mondays talks, is expected to raise concerns about a
protectionist streak in the Trump administration and call for Japan
and China to coordinate in promoting free trade, the sources
But a Japanese government source expressed wariness, saying
China likely has an ulterior motive to win Japan over and weaken
the Japan-U.S. alliance.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono, who will head the Japanese side,