China, Japan agree to hold China-Japan-ROK summit as soon as possible

BEIJING -- China and Japan agreed to hold a new round of China-Japan-ROK leaders' meetings as soon as possible, and foster the proper environment for the trilateral summit.

The agreement came as Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono Sunday in Beijing.

"High-level exchanges can play a leading role in improving bilateral ties," according to a press release from the talks.

The two sides also welcomed the creation of an air and maritime contact mechanism between the two countries and pledged to sign the deal as soon as possible.

"China and Japan should work together to build the East China Sea into the sea of peace, cooperation and friendship," said the press release.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. The two sides agreed to take the opportunity to strengthen exchanges at all levels and in various fields, including culture, local government, media and youth, and step up mutually beneficial cooperation.

"Bilateral ties have gone through an extraordinary journey over the past 40 years," Wang said, calling on both sides to "remain true to their original aspirations, learn from experiences and promote the continuous improvement of the relationship."

The two sides should build political mutual trust, Wang said.

He called on the Japanese side to treat China as a partner instead of a rival, and treat China's development as an opportunity rather than a threat.

Wang also urged Japan to honor its commitment, deal with the Taiwan issue based on the one-China principle, and respect China's sovereignty and security rights on issues related to Tibet and Xinjiang.

Since normalizing ties in 1972, China and Japan have signed four important political documents as well as a four-point principled agreement. "The two sides should always stick to that and safeguard the political foundation for bilateral ties," Wang said.

Regarding the Taiwan issue, Japan will abide by the principles established in the 1972 Japan-China joint communique that normalized bilateral relations. Japan will also properly deal with issues related to Tibet and Xinjiang, which are part of China's internal affairs, according to Kono.

China and Japan are the world's second and third largest economy, respectively. Kono said that developing a stable bilateral relationship not only served the interests of the two countries, but also the entire international community.

He pledged to advance bilateral ties based on mutual benefit and the consensus of "being each others' cooperation partners rather than threats."

Kono expressed Japan's positive attitude on participating in the Belt and Road Initiative and exploring cooperation in a third country.

The two foreign ministers also exchanged opinions on regional and international issues including the Korean Peninsula issue. They vowed to jointly safeguard the free trade system, promote regional economic integration and build an open world economy.


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