Japan and China hold their first high-level economic dialogue in almost eight years on Monday in a context of US commercial threats. UU
Although neither side is publicly linking the talks in Tokyo between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono to the protectionist policies of President Donald Trump, the meeting is a timely reminder not only of how much they depend both on the US market, but also on how interdependent the two Asian nations have become.
Even before he was elected, Trump criticized the trade and economic policies of China and China as unfair and damaging to the United States. UU Recently, it has threatened tariffs on Chinese exports and limits on investment, and last week took a shot in Japan, saying that the nation "has hit us hard in trade for years!"
That trade may be on the table when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with Trump later this week in Florida, but the increase in intra-Asian trade has weakened the power of US attempts to coerce countries.
China has replaced the USA UU as the number one trading partner for most of the nations of Asia, even those that have military alliances with the United States. United States, such as South Korea, Japan and Australia.
China is not only a trading partner, but also a major source of investment and tourists, which gives it greater negotiation and coercive power against other Asian nations.
That said, the United States remains a more important global economic partner for many in Asia. Japan, for example, has invested many times more money in the United States than in China, and even with the recent tensions, many Asian companies rely on the US market.
Commercial tension between the US UU And China is not new Even before Trump began to fight against the persistent trade deficit, the US. UU They had complained to the World Trade Organization about Chinese actions more than about any other nation. And China has corresponded.
But the current situation is much more tense and Japan's economy will be damaged if it gets worse. So this week, Japan will have to walk in a very fine line, balancing often strained relations with its larger trading partner against the demands of its second largest trading partner, which is also its military ally and guarantor of its security.
– With the help of Jiyeun Lee, Yoshiaki Nohara, Adrian Leung, Kristine Servando, Samson Ellis, and Hannah Dormido