Chinese President hopes to deepen Japan ties

Jintao said he hoped to deepen ties further with Japan, whose leader urged Beijing to continue to make progress on democracy and human rights.

Chinese President hopes to deepen Japan ties

Chinese President Hu Jintao said on Thursday he hoped to deepen ties further with Japan, whose leader urged Beijing to continue to make progress on democracy and human rights.

In a sign of warming relations between the two biggest Asian powers, China announced on Thursday Hu's successor-in-waiting would visit Japan next week.

Hu has taken an unusually personal role in seeking to improve relations with Japan, which have often been marked by spats over trade, sea borders and memories of Japan's brutal occupation of China before and during World War Two.

"The Chinese side is willing to make joint efforts with the Japanese side ... to strengthen cooperation in every field and on every level," state television paraphrased Hu as telling a group of visiting Democratic Party of Japan lawmakers.

Ties have been generally positive since Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's landslide election victory in Japan three months ago, but remarks made by Hatoyama at the Bali Democracy Forum in Indonesia could irritate Beijing.

"There is great expectation that China will continue to make progress, as a responsible power, on the issue of democracy and human rights," Hatoyama told the audience in remarks reported by Japan's foreign ministry.

The Bali forum brings together officials from across Asia including China, which consistently rejects foreign calls for political relaxation of its one-party communist administration as meddling in its affairs.

Beijing says China has its own version of democracy and human rights suited to Chinese conditions.

China was willing to "appropriately solve major sensitive issues between the two countries, cope with global challenges together and push forward bilateral ties to wider fields and on a much higher level", Hu said.

Japan and China are the world's second and third biggest economies, between them accounting for 15 percent of global economic output.

"Smooth transition"

Hatoyama's predecessor as leader of the Democratic Party, Ichiro Ozawa, left China on Thursday with what the conservative Sankei newspaper said was the biggest group of Japanese lawmakers to make a trip abroad, 140 people.

Ozawa, still seen by many voters as Japan's most powerful politician, plans to improve ties with Chinese government officials, Sankei reported.

Hu said Sino-Japanese relations had made "a smooth and stable transition" since Hatoyama took power.

Relations between China and Japan, often marked by spats over territorial and other issues, have been generally positive since Hatoyama's landslide election victory.

He has stressed the importance of deepening ties with countries that have different values.

Hatoyama also pledged to avoid Yasukuni, a shrine to war dead seen by many in Asia as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

In a further sign of warming ties, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping will visit Japan, as well as South Korea, Cambodia and Myanmar, from Dec. 14-22, China's Foreign Ministry announced in Beijing.

Spokeswoman Jiang Yu gave no exact dates for the Japan leg of Xi's visit but said it came at a significant time.

"This is the first visit by a Chinese state leader since the new Japanese government took office," Jiang told a regular news conference in Beijing.

"We hope to increase political mutual trust, expand mutually beneficial cooperation, increase friendly feelings between the people of both nations, and promote the continuous development of bilateral strategic relations."

Xi, 56, is tipped to succeed Hu as Communist Party chief and state president in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

His Asian tour follows a trip across Western Europe in October and appears to be another step in burnishing his diplomatic credentials to succeed Hu.



Reuters

Last Mod: 10 Aralık 2009, 15:23
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