mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
High-Profile Delegation of Japanese Business Leaders Shunned in Beijing

Governor-General of Australia Quentin Bryce Meets With Chinese President Xi Jinping

The largest delegation of Japanese business executives to visit China in more than a year got a cold reception when it arrived in Beijing today. Hoping to meet with Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping, the group of almost 200 Japanese businessmen were instead shunted off to meet lower officials.

As the Japan Times reports, “The business community has been having trouble arranging meetings with top Chinese leaders since the Japanese government effectively nationalized the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in September 2012.”

Japanese exports to China have risen slightly after a low point last year when Chinese rioters trashed Japanese cars and restaurants, and the Japanese business community believes that improving business ties between the two countries can help resolve a chilly diplomatic relationship. Before leaving Japan, Cho Fujio, Toyota’s honorary chairman and the leader of the delegation, said, “Even though squabbles have arisen between the governments, it is crucial to maintain periodic exchanges in various fields.”

But the visit failed to live up to expectations. Even as Xi and Li ignored the delegation in Beijing, the Chinese army was conducting a nighttime live-fire exercise in the Bohai Sea that featured more than 5,000 soldiers in a coordinated cross-sea amphibious raid. The effort to repair relations between the world’s second and third largest economies trundles slowly on.

[Xi Jinping photo courtesy of Getty Images]

Features Icon
show comments
  • Anthony

    “… But something bigger is also needed on both sides – an acknowledgement of the legitimacy of each other’s fears and resentments (Financial Times – China and Japan are heading for a collision).

  • Douglas Levene

    China seems to be reverting to its historic ideal – expecting surrounding states to pay obeisance and acknowledge its suzerainty.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service