DOHA -- Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on
Tuesday urged the Japanese government to remove political obstacle to improving
and developing bilateral ties.
During a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso, Li said that a
correct understanding and treatment of the unfortunate period of the history
constitutes an important political basis for restoration and development of
post-war bilateral ties.
Minister Li Zhaoxing attends a meeting with Qatar's First Deputy Minister
of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani during the 5th Asia
Cooperation Dialogue Ministerial Meeting in Doha, Qatar May 23, 2006.
He stressed that Japanese leaders' insistence on paying homage at the
Yasukuni Shrine that honors convicted Japanese war criminals severely hurts the
Chinese people's feeling and harms political basis for bilateral ties.
"It is imperative to remove such an obstacle to improving and developing
bilateral ties," Li said.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the fifth ministerial meeting of the
Asia Cooperation Dialogue in the Qatari capital of Doha, which opened on Tuesday
and will end on Wednesday.
Li said that the Chinese government has attached great importance to
developing Sino-Japanese friendship and is ready to promote good-neighborly and
cooperative ties with Japan based on drawing on lessons from the history and
looking to the future.
Recalling that Chinese President Hu Jintao expounded the Chinese government's
policies on cherishing and developing bilateral relations in a meeting with a
group of Japanese guests representing seven associations for Japanese-Chinese
friendship on March 31, Li said that at present, Sino-Japanese political ties
are facing serious difficulties, which is not in the interests of the peoples of
the two countries nor in line with aspirations of the international community.
The Chinese side is willing to work with the Japanese side to bring bilateral
ties back on track, Li said.
For his part, Aso said that Japan pays close attention to its ties with China
and welcomes China's peaceful development and hopes to develop bilateral ties
based on three political documents guiding bilateral ties.
On the Taiwan issue, he said that the Japanese government will continue to
observe the one-China principle.
He said that the Japanese government mulled President Hu's March 31 remarks
and hopes that the two sides will grasp real meanings of the remarks to engage
in more dialogues and exchanges and enhance mutual understanding in order to
improve and develop bilateral ties.
During the meeting, the two sides agreed that Sino-Japanese ties are one of
the most important bilateral relationships for both sides.
The two ministers also agreed that it is important to strengthen strategic
dialogue between the two countries and to work together to remove political
barrier and to deepen economic and trade cooperation and to initiate cooperation
in the areas of energy saving and environmental protection and to expand shared
They agreed that it is important to promote people-to-people exchanges,
especially among young people, and to continue to engage in security dialogue at
deputy ministerial-level and military exchanges.