Abe begins Europe tour to counter China policy
Published : Friday, 12 January, 2018 at 11:40 AM Count : 196
Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe begins his marathon tour to the Baltic states and Europe on Friday to counter the China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative and drum up support for his hawkish stance on North Korea.
Abe will visit Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania, the first sitting Japanese leader to visit those nations.
Japan is keen to raise its profile in the region as China bolsters its ties there.
China has been pushing its massive $1 trillion “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which seeks to build rail, maritime and road links from Asia to Europe and Africa in a revival of ancient Silk Road trading routes.
All six nations Abe is visiting are among the 16 Central and Eastern European countries that hold an annual summit meeting with China, AFP reports.
Despite a recent cooling of tensions in the run-up to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, Shinzo Abe has insisted on “maximising pressure” on Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programmes.
“I want to confirm our cooperation on North Korean and other urgent issues the international community faces,” he told reporters before he left.
Abe, who will meet the heads of the six states on his tour, also noted that representatives from more than 30 companies would accompany him to develop business ties.