Hu, Abe may meet on sidelines of G8 summit

By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-05-25 07:07

President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe are likely to meet on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Germany early next month.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said yesterday that the officials of the two countries are working to coordinate the talks and the result would be announced next week.

Japanese media said the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the dispute over gas exploration rights in the East China Sea would be high on the agenda of Hu-Abe talks.

It would be the third meeting between the two leaders since Abe visited China last October soon after taking office in a bid to mend bilateral ties.

They met again a month later in Vietnam on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum.

Analysts say both China and Japan attach great importance to regular high-level exchanges, which were interrupted in the past seven years because of former Japan prime minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to a shrine that honours 14 A-class war criminals.

Abe's ice-breaking Beijing trip was reciprocated by Premier Wen Jiabao's Tokyo visit last month.

In another development, foreign ministers from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) will meet in the ROK's resort island of Jeju on June 3 to exchange views of common interest. This would be the first foreign ministerial meeting of the three countries that will not be held on the sidelines of a multilateral forum, ROK Foreign Minister Song Min-soon was quoted as saying.

He said he hoped the three-way meetings become regular and form an "effective framework for regional cooperation and dialogue."

The first round of consultation among senior foreign affairs officials of the three countries was held in Beijing last Sunday.

Since the first meeting of the leaders of China, Japan and ROK in 1999, the three countries have established dialogue mechanisms in various spheres including diplomacy, economy, the environment and intellectual property protection.

(China Daily 05/25/2007 page2)

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