美中贸易战之际,日相安倍晋三将初次访华 As Trade War Persists, Japan's Abe Heads for First Visit to China

美国和中国之间的贸易战正在拉近中国和日本的关系。究竟会近到何种程度,这将在日本首相安倍晋三本周晚些时候访华时更为清晰。这是安倍自2012年当选首相后首次访华。

分析人士表示这次为期三天的访问并不太可能解决中日两国间历史上的领土争端,但可以为安倍首相和中国领导人习近平提供一个改善关系并努力推动关键政策议题的难得机会。

安倍将于周四抵达北京,随行的有超过500名商界领袖。他们将与中国商界领袖门一起参加一个投资论坛,着重讨论在第三国展开合作的有关事宜。

随着北京和华盛顿的关系恶化,中国正寻求与安倍建立更紧密的联系。安倍经常访问美国,并试图与美国总统特朗普建立友善关系。

台湾铺仁大学日本语言和文化教授何思慎说:“对于安倍来说,这次机会是特朗普为其创造出来的,这也符合日本的外交利益。如果日本公司能找到与中国一带一路项目合作的途径,将有助于打消来自国际上的批评以及一带一路沿线国家对于债务陷阱的忧虑。”

最近几周,一些国家出于对债务的担忧,取消或缩减了投资数十亿美元的一带一路项目。中国否认正试图给发展中国家制造债务陷阱并从中牟利。

如果日本参与这些项目,这将有利于缓解上述担忧。安倍本次访华期间,两国预计将宣布一系列投资计划。一些观察人士正观望两国会不会在如泰国等地展开合作。

日本曾清楚地表明支持全球范围内建造基础设施,以此促进经济发展。日本也声明其参与的项目必须公开透明,且对接受国来说在经济上可行,在财政方面具有可持续性。

日本政府一名不愿意透露姓名的消息人士表示,此次访问期间会有一些私企宣布一些消息,但“并不会像当年特朗普先生访华时那样隆重。”

特朗普去年访问中国时,美中两国宣布了价值2500亿美元的贸易协定。

特朗普政府目前与中日两国的都有贸易纠纷,他还批评了两国的贸易做法以及给美国带来的贸易逆差。

日本在对美贸易问题上所处的位置要优于中国。上个月晚些时候,日本和美国同意搁置汽车关税,并开始就一项自由贸易协定进行谈判。而美中之间依旧存在重大分歧。

不过与此同时,中国一直在努力在区域内推动自己的自由贸易协定,即《区域全面经济伙伴关系协定》。中国很可能会利用安倍来访寻求对该协定的支持,并希望在年底前达成协定。

日本政府的一个消息来源表示有意愿达成协议,但他补充说“我们不能在标准问题上过多妥协。”他还表示,中国这份协定的各参与国也持不同观点。这些国家包括了六个亚洲国家和东南亚国家联盟的成员国。

中国是日本的最大贸易伙伴,超过30000家日本企业在中国运营。日本在华投资自2012年以来首次出现增长。2012年,中日因东海无人居住岛屿发生领土争端和摩擦,导致双边关系急转直下,紧张到让人们担心两国可能发生军事冲突,这导致日本企业大规模外流。

尽管争端仍未解决,但日本对华投资再次增长,去年上涨了5.1%。安倍此次访华正值《中日和平友好条约》签署40周年之际。两国也寻在在外交关系上开启新篇章。

The U.S.-China trade war is helping push Beijing and Tokyo closer. How close will become clearer later this week, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe makes his first visit to China since taking office in 2012.

Analysts say the three-day trip is unlikely to resolve historic territorial disputes between the two sides, but it will provide Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping a rare opportunity to warm ties and try to advance key policy agendas.

Abe arrives Thursday in Beijing accompanied by an entourage of more than 500 business leaders who, with their Chinese counterparts, will attend an investment forum focusing on collaboration in third countries.

As relations between Beijing and Washington worsen, China is looking to build closer ties with Abe, a leader who has visited the United States frequently and has sought to build a friendly relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump.

“For Abe, this is an opportunity that Trump has created for him that suits Japan's foreign diplomacy interests,” said Ho Szu-shen, Japanese language and culture professor at Taiwan's Fu-Jen Catholic University. “If Japanese companies can find a way to cooperate on belt and road projects that could help diminish international criticisms and concerns of countries along the belt about debt trap diplomacy.”

In recent weeks, a handful of countries have canceled or scaled back billions of dollars in belt and road projects over concerns about debt. China denies it is trying to create debt traps and take advantage of developing countries.

Japan's participation in projects with China could help ease those fears. During Abe's visit, dozens of investment announcements are expected and some are looking to see whether the two will collaborate in places such as Thailand.

Japan has made clear it supports the idea of building infrastructure to help boost economies around the globe, but it also has stressed that investments it participates in be transparent, economically viable and fiscally sustainable for the host country.

A Japanese government source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that while there will be announcements during the visit by private companies, it is “not going to be a big deal like when Mr. Trump came to Beijing.”

When Trump visited China last November, the two announced $250 billion in trade deals.

Trump is entangled in trade disputes with both Japan and China and criticized the two countries trade practices and deficits with the United States.

As far as trade disputes go, Japan is in a better position than Beijing. Late last month, Tokyo and Washington agreed to shelve auto tariffs and begin negotiations on a free trade agreement. China and the United States remain deeply divided.

At the same time, however, China has been working hard to push a free trade agreement of its own for the region, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and is likely to use the meeting to buoy support for that agreement and the goal to finish the deal by the end of this year.

A Japanese government source said that reaching an agreement is desirable, “but at the same time we can't compromise too much on standards.” He also added that there are differing views among participants of RCEP as well, which includes six Asian countries and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

China is Japan's biggest trading partner and more than 30,000 Japanese companies have operations in the country. Last year, Japanese investments grew for the first time since 2012 when a territorial dispute over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea and frictions sent relations into a nosedive. Ties were so tense there were concerns the two countries might enter into a military conflict, which contributed to an exodus of Japanese businesses.

That dispute remains unresolved, but Japanese investment is picking up again, growing by 5.1 percent last year. Abe's visit comes as the two countries mark the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Japanese Peace and Friendship Treaty, and with that, both are looking to open a new page in relations.