|Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 8, 2006. |
Chinese President Hu Jintao
met with Japan
ese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
at the Great Hall of the People Sunday afternoon, soon after Abe's talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
"Your ongoing visit is serving as a turning point in the China-Japan relations and I hope it would also serve as a new starting point for the improvement and development of bilateral ties," Hu told Abe, congratulating upon Abe's taking office as prime minister.
Hu spoke highly of Abe's choosing China as the destination of his first official overseas trip, saying it indicated Abe has attached great importance to the improvement and development of the relations between the two neighbors.
The Sino-Japanese relations soured over former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's persistent visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Japanese class-A war criminals in World War II are honored among the country's war dead.
China-Japan relations face difficulties because an "individual Japanese leader" kept visiting the war shrine. "This is not what we are willing to see," Hu said.
"Since Mr. Abe took office, China and Japan have reached consensus on overcoming political obstacles affecting bilateral ties and promoting Sino-Japanese relations, which creates conditions for the improvement and development of bilateral relations," Hu said.
China-Japan friendly cooperation is not only concerned with the interests of the two countries, but also with peace, stability, development and prosperity of Asia and the world at large, said Hu.
Hu urged Japan to have a correct recognition and proper treatment of the history issue, and avoid hurting the feelings of the people of victimized countries.
Japan should hold firm its one-China policy and handle the Taiwan issue appropriately so as to constantly consolidate the political basis for bilateral relations, he said.
The Chinese president also suggested the two countries expand exchanges in trade, investment and technology, and increase cooperation in energy, environmental protection and information technology and finance areas.
The Chinese president proposed to expand exchange and cooperation between governments, political parties, social organizations, cultural and youth groups of the two countries.
On regional and international issues, Hu advocated stronger coordination and communications.
Hu said China hopes Japan could continue to move ahead as a peace-loving country and play a constructive role in regional and international affairs.
In reply, Abe, who took office Sept. 26, said he pays great attention to bilateral ties, and to push bilateral relations to a new high and create a bright future for the two peoples is important for the two countries and the region and it is also the common responsibility of the two sides.
He said the Japanese side attaches much importance to Hu's guideline on promoting bilateral ties. Japan will make contributions from a strategic perspective to the improvement and development of bilateral ties in the spirit of the three bilateral political documents.
Abe said Japan imposed great damages and sufferings on the Asian people in the past, and it is Japan's fixed policy on sticking to a peaceful development path on the basis of the deep introspection of the history.
This policy will not change, said Abe, adding that the Japanese side and he himself will properly handle the history issue in accordance with the consensus on overcoming the political obstacle affecting bilateral relations and promoting the sound and steady growth of bilateral relations.
Abe said the two economies are interdependent and China's rapid economic development has helped Japan's economic recovery and growth. Bilateral cooperation in other fields has continuously moved forward, noted Abe.
He said he hoped that the two sides will promote contacts at various levels, enhance mutual trust, expand exchanges in economy, culture, education and personnel, and strengthen communication and cooperation in regional and international affairs, so as to push bilateral relations to higher levels.
Abe reiterated that Japan will, in accordance with the joint statement, adhere to a one-China policy, and not support "two Chinas", "one China, one Taiwan" and "Taiwan independence". It opposes any unilateral change of the status quo across the Taiwan Straits.
Shortly afterwards, China's top legislator Wu Bangguo met with Abe, who arrived here Sunday and is scheduled to fly to Seoul early Monday.
Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, said Abe's visit attracted international attention, especially from the Japanese and Chinese people.
"I hope the stalemate in Chinese-Japanese relations will come to an end and I believe this visit will turn a new leaf for Chinese-Japanese ties," Wu said.
Abe told Wu that this visit indicated both Japan and China attached "extreme importance" to bilateral ties.
Abe, who took office Sept. 26, is the first Japanese postwar prime minister who chose China as the destination of his first official overseas trip. It's also the first visit to China by a Japanese prime minister in five years.