China Power

Did Xi Call Diaoyu/Senkakus A “Core Interest?”

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China Power

Did Xi Call Diaoyu/Senkakus A “Core Interest?”

Plus, concern grows over local government debt and economic growth. Friday China links.

Friday China links:

There is something of a delayed controversy coming out of the Sunnylands summit between Presidents Xi Jinping and Barack Obama last week. On Wednesday, Japan’s The Asahi Shimbun reported that Japanese officials had told the newspaper that President Xi told Obama during the summit that the Diaoyu Islands were a “core interest” for China. From China’s perspective, that would put the islands on par with places like Tibet and Taiwan. However, as the Japan Times reported, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, immediately denied the report, saying in a press conference “Our understanding is that the Chinese side did not directly connect the Senkakus to (their) core interests.”

On a related subject, the New York Times reports there is a growing push in China to claim Japan’s Okinawa islands, which hosts U.S. military personnel.

The Economic Observer reports on ballooning local government debt in China, noting that the peak repayment period for much of it is 2013 and 2014. Little wonder then that the China Securities Journal is advocating for interest rate cuts.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Finance’s treasury bond sale on Friday was disappointing at best, as the IMF, World Bank, and major international investing firms sour on China’s short-term economic outlook.

Reuters’ Editor Gary Regenstreif sees a looming rivalry between China and the U.S. over Latin America, while the New Yorker uniquely wonders if China is the new imperialist power in Africa.

Over at the Lowy Interpreter, Stephen Grenville wonders if China already is a responsible economic stakeholder.

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