Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul: targeted intervention for Covid hit countries
Joint interventions announced to stabilize the financial framework in Asia. Strengthen the agreement with Asean. Despite divisions over territorial and strategic issues, Japan and China maintain economic cooperation.
Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The finance ministers of Japan, China and South Korea today promised targeted measures to help the countries most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The joint announcement was made on the side-lines of a virtual meeting of the Asian Development Bank.
The three countries believe that boosting vaccination coverage will help improve Asia’s economic environment in Asia. The fragile recovery needs action to ensure financial stability. The three governments also want to strengthen the safety net of ASEAN + 3, the informal group to which they belong together with the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Countries.
It would seem that Japan and China are still able to find space for cooperation in the economic field. On April 28, the Japanese Parliament ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (Rcep), the largest free trade agreement in the world.
Sponsored by Beijing, the pact includes the 10 ASEAN countries, plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand: it covers about 30% of the GDP and of the global population. To enter into force, it must be ratified by at least six ASEAN nations or three countries that do not belong to the Southeast Asian bloc.
However, Tokyo and Beijing remain divided on territorial and strategic issues. In its annual foreign policy report, released on April 27, the Japanese government expressed concern about Chinese military expansionism in the South China Sea and especially the East China Sea.
In this stretch of water there is an increase in China's naval activities around the Senkaku Islands, administered by Japan but claimed by the Chinese, who call them Diaoyu. According to a Yomiuri Shimbun poll released today, 95% of Japanese think Chinese operations near the Senkaku are a threat to national security.