China and Japan are set to announce today the formal terms of a trade deal which could lead to a major shift in bilateral ties.
The deal will be formally announced by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and it will be followed by a meeting of leaders of the two countries’ economies.
“I will be here in Japan today to announce that the Japan-China bilateral trade agreement will be officially signed by Prime Minster Shinzo Abe,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a briefing with reporters in Beijing.
“He will sign the agreement during a meeting with Prime Minister Abe.”
Earlier this month, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said the deal would be signed after the two sides signed an agreement to deepen ties, but the timing was not specified.
“We’re planning to sign this agreement after the Japan visit,” Hua said.
“There will be a visit by Japanese Prime Minsters to China in June.
And I think we will sign it before then.”
A trade deal between China and the United States, currently the world’s biggest economy, would be the biggest in Asia.
China, which has more than $1 trillion in trade with the United State, has said it wants to become a more open economy.