World leaders meet in Japan this week for talks that will encompass the slowing Chinese economy and China’s reclamation of land in the disputed South China Sea -- without any representatives from Asia’s largest economy at the table.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will host U.S. President Barack Obama and other Group of Seven leaders from Thursday at a secluded resort on Kashiko Island, 300 kilometers (190 miles) southwest of Tokyo. That puts the summit not far from China itself, and brings to focus several points of tension with the Communist regime.
The meeting is being held against a backdrop of slowing growth as China’s engine cools, with a debate among major developed nations on how much -- or whether -- governments should take fiscal action to boost their economies. It also comes before an international court ruling on a case brought by the Philippines over territory in the South China Sea, which could affect China’s behavior in waters through which more than $5 trillion of trade passes each year.