Japan and China should work together to promote free trade, says Li

  Nov.1--CHINA and Japan should work together to support free trade and global growth, said Premier Li Keqiang in a speech marking the arrival in Bejing of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

  Both countries have an interest in developing closer ties to safeguard against a further escalation in trade tensions with the United States, he said in the first state bilateral visit in seven years, Reuters reported.

  Said Premier Li: "We hope both sides would work hard to promote regional peace, safeguard multilateralism and free trade, and become the axis of stability, growth and momentum for not just Asia but the world."

  Prime Minister Abe said China and Japan had "an indispensable role in the economic development of not just Asia but the world",.

  Japan is hopeful that the meeting may persuade China to honour their 2008 agreement to co-develop gas fields near disputed islands in the East China Sea, which both countries claim and which have caused diplomatic tension in recent years.

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