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Xi Jinping and China forced Tsai Ing-wen and Taiwan to play catch-up with a sooner-than-expected application to join a trade bloc currently being presided over by Japan. (Nikkei montage/AP/Wataru Ito/Presidential Office of Taiwan)
China up close

Analysis: China and Taiwan bids catch CPTPP chair Japan off guard

Distracted by race to replace prime minister, Tokyo took its eye off the ball

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

Katsuji Nakazawa is a Tokyo-based senior staff writer and editorial writer at Nikkei. He spent seven years in China as a correspondent and later as China bureau chief. He was the 2014 recipient of the Vaughn-Ueda International Journalist prize.

TOKYO -- After Taiwan's main opposition KMT party elected Eric Chu as its new leader, Xi Jinping, in his capacity as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, sent a congratulatory message calling for the two parties to work together to achieve national reunification and "the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."

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