Xi, Kishida meet at APEC as tensions grow

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has conveyed concerns over regional security to Chinese leader Xi Jinping amid growing tensions in Asia over China's maritime ambitions.

Xi was quoted by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV as telling Kishida that China and Japan should deepen trust, areas of co-operation and regional integration, and resist "conflict and confrontation".

The two leaders met in Thailand on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit on Thursday, marking the first leadership-level talks between the two countries in almost three years.

Regional tensions have been rising over Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own territory. China has never renounced the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control, and in August staged war games near the island.

The democratically-elected government in Taipei rejects Beijing's claims and says only its people can decide its future.

Japan also lodged a diplomatic complaint in August after five ballistic missiles launched by the Chinese military fell into Japan's exclusive economic zone, near disputed islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

"I reiterated the importance of peace and security in the Taiwan Strait," Kishida said to reporters, stopping short of suggesting how China responded to his concerns.

"I conveyed my grave concerns about the situation in the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands, as well as China's military presence such as their launching of missiles."

Xi told Kishida the issue of Taiwan needed to be handled properly and in good faith as it touched on the political foundation and basic trust of China-Japan relations, according to CCTV.

Xi said "China does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, nor does it accept anyone interfering in China's internal affairs under any pretext",.

Taiwan's foreign ministry thanked Japan, saying it "has always welcomed the international community's attention to the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the adoption of positive measures that will help maintain regional peace".

The Japanese premier took a swipe at China at an East Asia Summit held in Cambodia last week, openly criticising China for "violating" Japan's sovereignty in the East China Sea.

Xi only hinted at the issue on Thursday, however, saying "on the issue of maritime and territorial disputes, we should abide by the consensus of principles already reached, and show political wisdom and commitment to properly manage differences".