August 24, 2018 / 3:35 AM / a month ago

Japan, China finance ministers to meet in Beijing as relations improve

TOKYO (Reuters) - Finance ministers and officials from Japan and China are to meet in Beijing on Aug. 31, a Japanese official said, a sign of improving ties amid Sino-U.S. trade tensions.

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso answers a question during an upper house parliamentary session in Tokyo, Japan March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso and Chinese counterpart Liu Kun are expected to discuss financial cooperation, including reviving a dormant currency swap arrangement.

FILE PHOTO: China's Finance Minister Liu Kun attends a session of the New Development Bank third annual meeting in Shanghai, China May 28, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

Japan and China have begun discussing a resumption of the arrangement, which mean a swap worth about 3 trillion yen (21.19 billion pounds), far bigger than the previous $3 billion line.

Aso, who also serves as deputy prime minister, may meet separately with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who is in charge of trade talks with Washington, Kyodo news agency reported.

That suggests the two sides may discuss trade tensions with the United States, and how trade protectionism threatens global economic growth, a shared concern among G20 economic powers.

The meeting comes after U.S. and Chinese officials ended two days of talks on Thursday, with no major breakthrough, as their trade war escalated with activation of another round of duelling tariffs on $16 billion worth of each country’s goods.

Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Eric Meijer

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