Japan railway cooperation for building bullet train 'pleases' China

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"We have disputes on the eastern section of the boundary".

Hua said the boundary between India and China was yet to be settled: "There are disputes over the eastern section of the China-India boundary".

Referring to the India-Japan Act East Forum, MFA spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Friday, "China and India are working on seeking a fair and reasonable settlement which can be accepted by both sides through negotiations".

However, one worldwide issue was not discussed, namely the disputed South China Sea, in contrast to the previous two India-Japan summits where the summit declarations specifically referred to the South China Sea and reaffirmed the commitment to freedom of navigation and overflight. Both the title of the joint statement, "Toward a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific", and substantive paragraphs on cooperation in the region, indicate a much closer alignment between India and Japan in countering China's influence in the South China Sea, its forays into the Indian Ocean, and investments in South Asia and Africa.

The recent visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India and the subsequent talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw the discussion of several important issues, including China's expansion through its OBOR (One Belt One Road) initiative, and laying the foundation stone of India's first bullet train, made with the aid of Japan.

In line with Modi's "Act-East" Policy, Abe announced increased Japanese investment in infrastructure projects such as road connectivity and electricity in the region.

About the India-Japan joint statement, Hua said, "The statement mentioned resolving disputes through negotiation and dialogue".

India and Japan on Thursday inked 15 agreements to further broad-base their strategic partnership and agreed to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region where China is increasing its assertiveness. "This is China's position", she said. "It is our sovereign right to develop the country inside our boundaries and we will utilise that right", Shah said in response to a query on the issue.

China and Japan have dispute over the uninhabited islands called Senkakus by Japan and Diaoyu islands by China in the East China Sea where naval ships of both the countries aggressively patrol the waters around the islands. "We hope the normal development of the relationship can be conducive to regional, peace and development and play a constructive role in this process", she said.

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