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International relations

China looks to host summit with Japan and South Korea this year

Meeting in Beijing will follow talks in Tokyo in May

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at their May summit in Tokyo.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at their May summit in Tokyo.

TOKYO -- Japan and China are in talks to arrange a three-way summit with South Korea in Beijing, the second such meeting this year following one in Tokyo.

The three-way meeting has been envisioned as annual, and China is the next host. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will attend the summit.

The same three met in Tokyo last month. By holding another meeting this year, the countries hope to deepen their diplomatic cooperation.

Li's visit to Tokyo last month was positioned as an official visit. Abe will be making a reciprocal visit by going to Beijing this year.

Japan is also negotiating with China to plan separate events for Abe during the visit. This would set the stage for Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Japan next year in return.

Xi is scheduled to come to Japan in June 2019 for a Group of 20 summit. Tokyo hopes to turn this into an official visit by the Chinese president.

The three countries will start negotiating specifics going forward. But with Abe facing re-election in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election in September, uncertainty remains regarding his schedule.

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