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PacNet #3B – Coping with Abe: Time for “New Thinking” in China’s Japan Policy

The October 2006 visit of newly elected Prime Minister Abe Shinzo to China – his first official trip overseas – was lauded by Beijing as “an important breakthrough” in strained China-Japan relations. After this ice-breaking visit, signs of improvement have become the dominant feature of the bilateral relationship. When meeting Abe on the sidelines of the ASEAN+3 Summit, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao accepted the invitation to make an official visit to Japan this spring, the first state visit to Japan by a top Chinese leader since 1998.