Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: China’s top diplomat held seven-hour talks with high-ranked Japan official

Japan’s national security adviser met China’s top diplomat for seven hours of talks that covered topics including Taiwan and the war in Ukraine, a Japanese government official said Thursday. Accepting an invitation from China, Takeo Akiba travelled to the city of Tianjin, southeast of Beijing, to meet Yang Jiechi on Wednesday afternoon, the official told AFP. (https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/high-ranked-japan-and-china-officials-hold-seven-hour-talks/ar-AA10MHg4) Chinese state news agency Xinhua also reported that the pair had met, weeks before the countries commemorate the 50th anniversary of their normalised ties on September 29. In recent weeks, Japan has protested Chinese missiles that it believes landed in its economic waters during military drills around Taiwan, while China called visits by Japanese ministers to a controversial war shrine a “serious provocation”. But during the meeting, which included dinner, the high-ranked men took the opportunity to discuss an array of geopolitical issues. Akiba “conveyed Japan’s position” on Taiwan to Yang, and stressed the importance of “peace and stability” in the Taiwan Strait, the National Security Secretariat official said. According to Xinhua, Yang told Akiba that “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, and the Taiwan question bears on the political foundation of China-Japan relations and the basic trust and good faith between the two countries”. Akiba and Yang also talked about a perennial controversy over disputed islets in the East China Sea — known as the Senkaku by Tokyo and the Diaoyu by Beijing — the official said. In July, Japan lodged a protest with China over a Chinese naval vessel sailing near the islands.

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