Tokyo: Global economic giants Japan and China on Sunday pledged to throw their combined weight behind efforts to revive the struggling world economy after talks aimed at boosting trade between the two powers.
The world’s second and third largest economies also called for a resumption of stalled international talks to free up global trade and said they would launch joint assistance programmes for developing countries for the first time.
“On the global economic and financial crisis, both countries agreed to implement what was agreed at the London summit swiftly and in a solid manner in order to realize the global economic recovery as soon as possible,” said Japan’s delegation leader, foreign minister Hirofumi Nakasone.
At their London summit in April, the Group of 20 developed and major emerging economies agreed to commit $1 trillion to the International Monetary Fund and other global bodies to help struggling economies.
The G-20 also said it would push for greater regulation of the global financial system to tackle the world’s deepest economic crisis in decades, which has plunged Japan into recession and dented China’s stellar growth.
“Both sides underline the need to assume a consistent and responsible attitude to step up regional and international economic and financial cooperation,” China’s vice premier Wang Qishan said at a news conference with Nakasone.
They were speaking after the second Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue, aimed at boosting trade and investment between the two nations, who are top trade partners but also economic rivals and competitors for resources.
Japan, a high-tech and environmental technology leader, and China, the world’s most populous country with a vast and cheap labour force, hope to increasingly join their economic forces for mutual benefit, experts have said.
“We want to enhance bilateral trade ties further under this grand policy of forming strategic, mutually beneficial relations,” said Wang, who was leading the Chinese delegation.
Both China and Japan also called for an early conclusion to the Doha Round of trade talks under the World Trade Organization (WTO) “so that the global economy will return onto a track of sustainable growth,” Nakasone said.
And they pledged to jointly give development assistance to developing countries, although they provided no details.
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Export-Import Bank of China agreed to “cooperate in foreign development aid to give financial support” to third countries, Japan’s foreign ministry said.
The two nations also tackled the thorny issue of their different views on how to deal with North Korea over its recent nuclear and missile tests.
China’s foreign minister Yang Jiechi reiterated Beijing’s call for “an appropriate and balanced” UN Security Council resolution.
Beijing, one of the council’s five veto-wielding permanent members, has in the past blunted calls led by Washington and Tokyo for strong punishment of the isolated fellow communist country that neighbours China.
Tokyo has pushed strongly for tougher sanctions that may include ship cargo inspections, a tighter arms embargo and new financial restrictions.
Nakasone told Yang that “China’s role as a regional power and a country with close ties with North Korea is great in this issue.”
China and Japan also addressed the rampant production of knock-off goods in Chinese factories that has hurt Japanese companies, and agreed to launch annual talks on jointly cracking down on copyright and trademark piracy.
Japan also reiterated that China should scrap a plan to examine and certify more than a dozen types of IT products, including anti-hacking software, before foreign firms can sell them to China’s government.
The United States, Japan and other major IT manufacturers fear that China will use the process to learn software trade secrets.