Thursday, October 30, 2014

Abe-Xi Jinping Meet-and-Greet on Track?

I’ve been pushing the line for a while with regard to Japan-China summitry that a) the two sides have been building towards a handshake and a chat between Shinzo Abe and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the upcoming APEC summit in Shanghai which the Japanese side will talk up as constructive and encouraging and the Chinese side will deny being a bilateral meeting as Xi was merely being polite as the host for the APEC heads, but that b) there was the risk that the Chinese side will consider the buildup process sufficient to put the bilateral relationship on an even keel without the one-on-one meet-and-greet, an unconditional (as demanded by Abe) exchange that would entail domestic fallout for Xi. Well according to today’s Nikkei (Oct. 30), as former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda met Xi Jinping yet again, this time together with the other board members of the Boao Forum for Asia, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated in in a press conference with regard to a possible Japan-China summit meeting that “there is the custom amongst the Chinese that ‘all who come are guests,’ and we as the host country shall fulfill the duties necessary as hosts to welcome all the guests.” It’s possible that the Nikkei reporter read too much into Wang Yi’s statement—it happens—but a) looks more likely than ever and risk b) significantly diminished.

I know it’s silly, but it makes me happy just to know that things are going the way of my call. I wonder how I would feel if I predicted the end of the world and Skynet suddenly got smart.

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