China, Japan may not meet at summit

Chinese and Japanese leaders have a chance this week to sit down in Washington and discuss ways to stop simmering tensions from once again damaging business ties between Asia's two largest economies. They may pass on the opportunity.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe haven't held face-to-face talks for almost a year as a bid to rebuild ties from a 2012 low shows signs of stalling.

A fragile rapprochement after Xi and Abe's first meeting more than two years ago has frayed. Japan's stepped up criticism of China's assertiveness in the South China Sea — China has reclaimed more than 3,000 acres over the past two years — has angered Beijing, while ships and planes from both nations tail one another around contested islets closer to Japan. Neither leader can afford an escalation as Xi pushes reforms to keep China on a stable growth path, while Abe seeks to reignite a sputtering economy.

Officials with both sides said it was doubtful that Xi would meet Abe on the sidelines of a two-day nuclear summit.

Bloomberg News Service