Monday, November 10, 2014

An Awkward Handshake: Leaders of China, Japan Meet

An uneasy handshake Monday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe marked the first meeting between the two men since either took power, and an awkward first gesture toward easing two years of high tensions. As the two men approached each other, stern-faced, to shake hands in front of cameras, Abe briefly tried to say something to Xi, who gave no response and turned away, appearing distinctly uncomfortable, to fix his gaze toward the cameras for the rest of the handshake. The spat between China and Japan over uninhabited East China Sea islands and other contentious issues has raised concerns of a military confrontation between Asia's two largest economies, which could draw the U.S. into the fray alongside ally Japan. Although core divisions won't be resolved soon, Abe told reporters afterward that the countries made a "first step" toward reconciliation.

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