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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Abe toned down rhetoric on China during regional summit

Nikkei reported that during Tuesday’s East Asia Summit in the Philippines, Prime Minister Abe refrained from using strong language to criticize China’s militarization of the South China Sea perhaps in a bid to improve bilateral relations by realizing reciprocal visits to each other’s capital by President Xi and himself next year, which will mark the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the bilateral Treaty of Peace and Friendship. While noting that the premier’s most significant achievements in his Southeast Asia tour were his meetings with President Xi and Premier Li, during which they affirmed mutual efforts for reconciliation, the article said the Japanese leader may be criticized for exercising a “double standard” if he elects not to criticize China for the sake of conducting “pragmatic diplomacy” given that he underscores the importance of upholding such common values as the rule of law and democracy in pursuing  national interests on the foreign policy front. 

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