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China and Japan are expected to ink 'a lot' of deals as their leaders meet in Beijing

Key Points
  • China and Japan are expected to sign a raft of deals during Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Beijing.
  • Beijing and Tokyo are both looking to warmer economic relations amid U.S. President Trump's protectionist trade policies, analysts say.
Economic 'self interests' driving Japan-China relations: Expert

China and Japan are expected to sign a raft of deals this week during Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's state visit to Beijing this week.

Abe will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang during his visit which begins on Thursday through Saturday. Their meeting will be significant as it is the first stand-alone journey to the country by a Japanese leader in nearly seven years.

The two Asian economic giants will be forging closer trade and business ties, analysts said.

The meeting "comes at a time when both Chinese and the Japanese have mutual concerns about the United States, particularly with President [Donald] Trump and his policies," said Victor Teo, assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong's department of Japanese studies.

That has spurred China and Japan to improve bilateral ties despite historical and geopolitical disagreements.

"It is really the fact that President Trump has announced the 'America First' policy and has launched essentially a trade war with China that is giving China the incentive to get closer to Japan," Glen Fukushima, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday.

China and Japan have mutual concerns about Trump's policies: Prof

"Japan also feels a bit abandoned by the Untied States because the United States has withdrawn from the TPP — the Trans-Pacific Partnership," said Fukushima, adding that both sides see the economic benefit of furthering their bilateral ties.

Abe is accompanied by a 500-strong business delegation, which is expected to pitch aggressively in hopes of reaching China's burgeoning middle-class consumers, said Rory Green, an Asia economist at TS Lombard.

The bilateral relationship between China and Japan is already "politically cool, but economically hot," said the University of Hong Kong's Teo.

"If they can't agree politically, then they will just make business," said Teo, who is expecting "a lot" of business deals to come out of Abe's trip.