China-Ja­pan treaty reaches 40-year mark

Li, Abe ex­change mes­sages, pledge to de­velop re­la­tions, deepen co­op­er­a­tion

China Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By HU YONGQI and PAN MENGQI Con­tact the writ­ers at huy­ongqi@ chi­

Bei­jing is will­ing to work with Tokyo to safe­guard po­lit­i­cal foun­da­tions, deepen mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion and prop­erly man­age dif­fer­ences un­der the prin­ci­ples of the four key bi­lat­eral po­lit­i­cal doc­u­ments, said Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang.

Li made the com­ment when ex­chang­ing con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sages with Ja­pa­nese Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe on Sun­day, the day mark­ing the 40th an­niver­sary of the sign­ing of the China-Ja­pan Treaty of Peace and Friend­ship, one of the four land­mark bi­lat­eral pacts.

Forty years ago, the treaty was signed to legally con­firm prin­ci­ples of the China-Ja­pan Joint Com­mu­nique, Li said of the state­ment in 1972. Bi­lat­eral ties have de­vel­oped enor­mously since, bring­ing ben­e­fits to both peo­ples and con­tribut­ing to re­gional and global pros­per­ity and sta­bil­ity, Li said.

In May, Li paid an of­fi­cial visit to Ja­pan, help­ing put bi­lat­eral re­la­tions back on the right track.

China is ready to work with Ja­pan to com­ply with the four po­lit­i­cal doc­u­ments, in the spirit of “tak­ing the past as a mir­ror and look­ing for­ward to the fu­ture”, to pro­mote long-term, sound and sta­ble de­vel­op­ment of the ties, Li added.

Thanks to joint ef­forts, bi­lat­eral ties have wit­nessed sub­stan­tial de­vel­op­ment in ar­eas such as econ­omy, cul­ture and peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes, Abe said in his mes­sage.

The two coun­tries should con­tinue deep­en­ing co­op­er­a­tion and con­tribut­ing to find­ing so­lu­tions to prob­lems fac­ing the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, he said.

Abe spoke highly of Li’s visit to Ja­pan, call­ing it tremen­dously vi­tal for the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral ties. He said he is look­ing for­ward to vis­it­ing China later this year to help bring China-Ja­pan ties to a new stage.

In a re­lated ac­tiv­ity, at a sym­po­sium in Bei­jing on Satur­day held to mark four decades since the 1978 treaty, over 100 gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and aca­demics from both coun­tries gath­ered to honor the spirit of the treaty.

For­mer state coun­cilor Dai Bing­guo said the sign­ing of the treaty sum­ma­rized the po­lit­i­cal prob­lems be­tween the two coun­tries and opened up a new chap­ter for bi­lat­eral ties.

“Ja­pan has been sup­port­ing China’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment by pro­vid­ing cap­i­tal and tech­no­log­i­cal help and has also shared in the fruits of China’s fast de­vel­op­ment,” Dai told the sym­po­sium hosted by the Chi­nese Acad­emy of So­cial Sciences.

Yukio Ha­toyama, for­mer Ja­pa­nese prime min­is­ter, said in a speech at the event that the two neigh­bors have grad­u­ally es­tab­lished gov­ern­men­tal dia­logue mech­a­nisms at var­i­ous lev­els and en­hanced peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes since the treaty was signed 40 years ago.

The treaty was signed based on the po­lit­i­cal in­sights at the time of lead­ers from both sides, in­clud­ing look­ing at the big­ger pic­ture and prop­erly han­dling sen­si­tive is­sues, and bi­lat­eral ties also suf­fered twists and turns over the past four decades due to his­tor­i­cal and ter­ri­to­rial fac­tors, Ha­toyama said.

He added that the two sides should look at the big­ger pic­ture and reach a con­sen­sus on shelv­ing dif­fer­ences, and Tokyo should seize the op­por­tu­nity to work with Bei­jing un­der the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

Yu­taka Yokoi, Ja­pa­nese am­bas­sador to China, said both coun­tries are ma­jor eco­nomic pow­ers and share great re­spon­si­bil­ity in the global com­mu­nity, and he is im­pressed by China’s achieve­ments over the past 40 years, es­pe­cially in the field of sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy.

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