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China to hold trade talks with Japan, South Korea

Published on Nov 19, 2012 8:52 PM

PHNOM PENH (REUTERS) - China will hold ministerial talks on a free trade area (FTA) with Japan and South Korea at an East Asia Summit in Cambodia, a Chinese government spokesman said on Monday, in a step towards engagement with Japan after recent diplomatic tension.

The three East Asian countries, which account for about a fifth of the global economy, agreed to launch negotiations on a trade pact in May but the pledge has been overshadowed by a spike in tension between Japan and China over disputed islands.

The Chinese and Japanese leaders were not scheduled to hold direct talks at the summit, China's Foreign Ministry said, but three-way ministerial talks on the FTA would go ahead on Tuesday.

"The FTA between China, Japan and Korea is an important vehicle towards broader integration of trade and economy in this region," the Chinese spokesman told reporters.

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