Talks can resolve China-Janpan issues

By Le Tian (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-06 07:16

Vice-President Zeng Qinghong yesterday called for dialogue and friendly cooperation between China and Japan to seek common development.

Zeng's call came when he met Japanese lawmaker, of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Noda Takeshi in Beijing a day after Japan criticized Chinese ships carrying out research in what Tokyo considers are disputed waters in the East China Sea.

Sino-Japanese ties have gone through "sunny springs and chilly winters", but friendship and cooperation have always been the mainstream thought, he said.

"Improving and developing Sino-Japanese relations are the common responsibility and historical mission of the governments, parties and politicians of the two countries," he said.

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The two sides should see the picture in the entirety of China-Japan relations, and make every effort to safeguard the "political basis" of bilateral ties, Zeng said, referring to the three political documents guiding the two countries' relations.

Takeshi, who is also chairman of the Japan-China Society, said the top leaders of the two countries had greatly moved forward bilateral ties through wise political resolutions.

"Japan-China relations went through a cold winter, but thanks to the consistent efforts of the two countries' leaders, the ties are now embracing a warm spring."

He said the two sides should strengthen their partnership in various fields and push for friendship for a brighter future.

Bilateral ties have improved a lot since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited China in October last year that thawed relations. And Premier Wen Jiabao is expected to visit Tokyo in April.

Last month, the two countries agreed to exchange visits of more than 20,000 people this year as part of activities to mark the 35th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties.

The Japanese newspaper, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, has reported that Chinese navy ships are likely to visit a Japanese port in August, followed by a "Maritime Self-Defence Force" return trip next year. The Chinese authorities, however, have not confirmed the report.

Historical issues and gas exploration in the East China Sea are affecting the ties.

Japan yesterday said it had spotted a Chinese ship early on Sunday that apparently was carrying out research in what Tokyo considered its waters in the East China Sea, and lodged a protest with the Chinese embassy, AFP reported.

Since October 2004, China and Japan have held six rounds of talks on the East China Sea issue but have failed to reach an agreement.

China insists it conducts oil and gas exploration in undisputed areas and is always ready for talks and consultations to resolve the disputes on demarcating of territories in the East China Sea.

(China Daily 02/06/2007 page3)

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