By Liao Bowen (Centre for Sino-Indonesia People-to-people Exchange Studies, BFSU)
On the afternoon of October 25, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Beijing for an official visit to China. It is the first official visit by a Japanese prime minister in seven years. According to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, a ministerial meeting will be held during a forum on the third-party market cooperation between the two countries and cooperation agreements will be concluded on the meeting.
Countries along the Mekong River are a major investment destination for China and Japan because of their important position in Asia. The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation plays a significant role in China-ASEAN cooperation. It is one of the most fruitful sub-regional cooperation mechanisms between China and its neighboring countries.
Currently, both China and Japan are main sources of foreign investment and official development assistance in the Mekong region. The two countries enjoy respective comparative advantages in the region. Although competition has long existed between the two sides in Southeast Asia, the trilateral cooperation among China, Japan and ASEAN is conducive to regional peace and development in the long run.