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Delaying Xi's visit to Japan offers chance for real strategic progress

China's president must bring solution to islands dispute, not just businesspeople

| China
China will have to find a face-saving way to resolve the long-running dispute over the Senkaku Islands, which China claims and calls Diaoyu.   © Kyodo

The postponement of the much-anticipated state visit to Japan by Chinese President Xi Jinping is an undeniable disappointment for both Tokyo and Beijing. But with Xi and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe both preoccupied with the coronavirus crisis, it was obviously a wise decision to wait until a more opportune moment, most likely in the fall, for Japan to host Xi and add momentum to warming Sino-Japanese ties.

Relations between Tokyo and Beijing began their upswing after Abe visited Beijing in October 2018. Since then Chinese censors have banished anti-Japanese vitriol from nearly all Chinese media outlets.

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