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International relations

Abe and China's Li stick to the positive in long-awaited talks

Leaders agree to promote free trade while avoiding thorny issues

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reviews the honor guard with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a welcoming ceremony before their bilateral talks at Akasaka Palace state guest house in Tokyo on May 9.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang played up new economic cooperation and a long-awaited military communication plan in talks here Wednesday, bypassing thornier territorial and historical issues to showcase their countries' rapidly warming ties.

China and Japan, as global economic powers, have agreed to protect free trade and advance globalization, Li told a joint news conference after the meeting. Abe said the countries will "work together to meet Asia's brisk demand for infrastructure."

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