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China hopes to jointly boost relations with Japan

(Xinhua)

09:02, January 09, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese diplomat said here on Sunday that China is ready to seize the opportunity to further promote relations with Japan in 2012, the year marking the 40th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties between the two nations.

China will make joint efforts with Japan to increase political mutual trust, properly handle differences and relevant issues, enhance dialogue, exchange and cooperation in various fields and at various levels, so as to advance the healthy and stable development of bilateral strategic and mutually beneficial relations, Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

He said that China and Japan succeeded in stabilizing and improving relations in 2011. China's government, leaders and people from all walks of life expressed their condolences and support for the Japanese people after a catastrophic earthquake and ensuing tsunami hit the Pacific coastal areas of northeastern and eastern Japan on March 11.

"Chinese President Hu Jintao went to the Japanese Embassy in Beijing and expressed his personal condolences to the Japanese people, a rare occasion in the history of China-Japan relations," Liu said.

During a trip to Japan, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the worst-hit areas and offered his sympathy and consolation to the quake-affected people, Liu added.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda visited China at the end of 2011. During his stay in Beijing, Chinese President Hu Jintao and top legislator Wu Bangguo met with Noda, respectively, and Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with him. The two sides reached important consensus in various fields, including politics, economy, culture and humanity.

"The visit was a very successful one in pushing the two nations to make important progress in bilateral strategic and mutually beneficial relationship," Liu said.

According to Liu, the two nations scored an historic 300 billion U.S. dollars in two-way trade in 2011, and China has been Japan's largest trading partner for the past three consecutive years.

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