Japan urged to "show sincerity" in mending ties with China

07:59, October 22, 2010      

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A Chinese official Thursday urged Japan to "show sincerity" in mending strained relations between the two nations by taking substantial steps.

China is serious about its relationship with Japan as the two neighbors are significant to each other, Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue said at a press briefing on Premier Wen Jiabao's upcoming attendance at a series of meetings of East Asian leaders in Hanoi, Vietnam, later this month.

Asked whether Premier Wen would meet Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in Hanoi, Hu said such a meeting would be possible only under "proper conditions and atmosphere."

Bilateral ties have been strained since the collision between a Chinese trawler and two Japanese patrol boats off the Diaoyu Islands on Sept. 7. Japanese authorities seized the Chinese trawler and crew, and detained the trawler's captain.

Japan's handling of the incident had seriously hurt the relationship between the two countries, Hu said.

He said advancing the strategic relationship is in fundamental interest of the two nations, and China insisted that all disputes should be solved through dialogues.

"The two leaders have had a good interaction in Brussels," he said, referring to an informal meeting between Wen and Kan on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting earlier this month.

During their brief talks, Wen told Kan that the Diaoyu Islands were an inherent part of Chinese territory. They also agreed to step up people-to-people exchanges and inter-governmental communications and hold a high-level meeting at an appropriate time.

"China's position has not changed," Hu said.

"We hope the Japanese side will pull in the same direction as China's and show its sincerity in mending bilateral ties, and not keep acting against that direction," he added.



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