Analysis: With eye on ‘Quad,’ China steps up Japan courtship

Analysis: With eye on ‘Quad,’ China steps up Japan courtship

Xi’s ‘dual-circulation’ economic model needs a stable supply chain with neighbor

TOKYO — When the much-anticipated first phone call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took place on Friday, the absence of one major issue made the headlines: Xi’s visit to Japan as a state guest.

Suga himself told reporters that rescheduling Xi’s Japan visit, initially set for April before being postponed by the pandemic, was not discussed. China’s official media reports made no reference to the visit.

But perhaps lost amid that intrigue was a conversation that spoke volumes of how China and Xi see Japan in the years ahead.

“China is stepping up efforts to foster a new, dual-cycle development architecture,” Xi told Suga, “with the domestic cycle as the mainstay and with domestic and international development reinforcing each other.”

Xi said he hoped that the two sides will jointly safeguard stable and smooth industrial chains and supply chains, the Xinhua News Agency reported.