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Meeting the Press
Cover Stories Series 2011> Outlining the 12th Five-Year Plan> Meeting the Press
UPDATED: March 13, 2011 NO. 11 MARCH 17, 2011
Charting China's Diplomatic Role

China and Japan

We have taken note of the fact Japanese leaders have sent important and positive messages concerning the Sino-Japanese relationship, hoping both sides will view and handle this relationship from a strategic perspective. The Chinese side is ready to work with the Japanese side to keep Sino-Japanese relations developing in the right direction, in accordance with the four political documents between the two countries.

I also take the view for both China and Japan, the Sino-Japanese relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships. So the pursuit of a sound Sino-Japanese relationship is a wise choice for both sides.

Since the end of last year, leaders of the two countries have met several times, pushing forward the improvement of this bilateral relationship. I believe this year is of great importance for the improvement and development of Sino-Japanese relations for both countries.

We are ready to work with the Japanese side to maintain and intensify high-level exchanges and increase mutual trust. Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the China-Japan-South Korea Leaders' Meeting in Japan this year. Vice Premier Wang Qishan will go to Japan to attend the China-Japan High-Level Economic Dialogue. These are important activities in the two countries' high-level contacts.

It is important to nurture friendly sentiments between peoples of the two countries. China and Japan must keep their bilateral relationship developing in the right direction and let the people of both countries see that a sound bilateral relationship has indeed brought about real benefits. We must handle sensitive issues well and avoid escalation of differences.

For well-known reasons, efforts to implement the principled common understanding on the East China Sea issue have encountered twists and turns. We believe both sides should bear in mind the overall interests of the strategic relationship of mutual benefit between the two countries and appropriately handle sensitive issues in order to foster sound conditions and a sound environment for the implementation of the principled common understanding.

The position of the Chinese Government on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands is consistent and clear-cut. This issue is highly sensitive and it must be handled carefully. China has repeatedly asked the Japanese side to take credible steps to prevent any recurrence of the events of last year so as to uphold the larger interests of Sino-Japanese relations.

We hope the China-Japan-South Korea Leaders' Meeting to be held in May will produce positive outcomes. We hope the meeting will contribute to greater strategic communication, mutual political trust and practical cooperation in various fields. The priority should be to promote joint research among the three countries on a free trade agreement and advance the negotiation process of the investment treaty. We need to deepen cooperation in developing a circular economy, in science and technology and in environmental protection. At the same time, we need to step up cultural and people-to-people interaction.

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