BEIJING -- Japan should honor Beijing's Taiwan policy and dial down rhetoric on Chinese threats, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Japanese counterpart during a meeting Saturday, with his tone deeply irritating leaders in Tokyo.
The Chinese foreign ministry later released the "four requirements" for improved relations Wang discussed with Fumio Kishida. Wang urged Japan to "face up to and reflect upon the history and follow the one-China policy to the letter," which refers to Beijing's stance of viewing Taiwan as part of its territory.
With the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party taking power in Taiwan, China is apparently warning Prime Minister Shinzo Abe not to get too close to that government.
Wang also told Japan to "have a more positive and healthy attitude toward the growth of China, and stop spreading or echoing all kinds of China threat or China economic recession theories." That apparently refers to Abe's criticism of China's maritime ambitions in neighboring seas. Kishida vehemently denied Japan talking up Chinese threats, saying, "it's not a fact. They are simply reported by media."
The third demand called for treating China as an equal partner in economic cooperation, urging Japan to "discard the outdated idea that one side cannot do without the other side, or one side depends more on the other side than the other way around." But it was unclear what Wang was referring to.
And in the final requirement, China told Japan to "cast aside the confrontation mentality and work with China to maintain peace, stability and prosperity in the region," a statement perhaps spurred by Japan not taking part in the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
During the meeting that lasted four hours and 20 minutes, including lunch, Wang rarely spoke Japanese, even though he is fluent. He told Kishida that China would welcome him if he were sincere in his overtures, with Wang's abrasiveness provoking criticism even at home.